Reason #783 Why Leaders Fail: The Yes Men
Are you a leader?
Working for a leader?
(I believe that should cover everyone)
Ever felt the urge to simply agree with the senior leader of your company when deep down inside you didn't agree?
More than the urge, have you ever actually done it? That is, been a Yes Man? When everything inside you was telling you the answer was No but you said Yes??
I'm becoming increasingly aware as I grow and mature in leadership that there are a great many YES MEN out there.
I'm also thinking more and more that there is a real problem with the YES MEN. Yes they are kissing up to the leader, brown-nosing, climbing the corporate ladder, or whatever metaphor you see in them, but annoying as that behaviour is, that isn't the real problem.
The real problem as I see it, is for the leader!
A truly great leader would never intentionally surround themselves with Yes Men.
But it is possible that a truly great leader could end up being surrounded with Yes Men.
How can this be?
As a leader increases their focus on casting vision and building into his leaders that are around him, it becomes more difficult to keep that connection to the front lines, to those working in-the-trenches so to speak. If the people around him become over time, more consumed with saying what they think the leader wants to hear, rather than the truth or what he really should be hearing, there is going to be trouble in paradise.
The leader would be heavily relying on the truth and honesty to keep in touch with his organization but if no one is willing to have the straight/difficult conversations that possibly no one wants to hear, the leader loses touch and over time... will fail.
Imagine for a second the leader.
He asks someone a question.
There is a slight pause.
The person who is giving the answer is scrambling, mind racing, but not for what the answer is, but for what they think the leader wants to hear...
Lonely place for a leader to be if they ever realized that they were being surrounded by Yes Men.
So my challenge is this, when asked a question by a leader, take the opportunity to help them and your organization by answering truthfully.
Will you win the popularity contest?
For sure No.
But will you be the one providing lasting value in the end, compared to the Yes Man? Definitely.
Don't give in to the temptation to get in good with the boss. If you really want to see your leaders succeed and not fail, speak the truth.
Just don't be a Yes Man.
Oh, and shout out to you leaders, when you find people that ARE NOT Yes Men... KEEP THEM!!
Keep them VERY close.
They are like GOLD.
They will keep YOU and REALITY in check!