This month I was invited to have a call with a former professional athlete. This former, very well known and amazing athlete was looking to monetize his brand post retirement from the league. Somehow, the connection thought I would have some valuable ideas. The call was going well and everyone on the call was agreeing with this person and his management. I was the only one who disagreed and laid out reasons why they were all wrong, and provided alternative strategies. Guess who got the meeting? Yours truly.
I could continue this post and discuss sales techniques however I want to transition to leadership. Voicing an opinion that goes against the grain is a skill and confidence that the majority of people struggle to develop. Instead, they develop into a ‘yes person’: a person who consistently goes along with other people’s ideas - particularly those in positions of power, - even if they don’t feel it’s the best solution. They believe this is the safest and most professionally beneficial option.
This is completely WRONG!
As one who leads a growing, dynamic team, I hold high regard for those who respectfully provide an alternative view to my own, but ultimately respect that I will make the final call. I rely on their honest judgment and perspective in order to weigh up and make a final decision.
So, for those in leadership reading this, or aspiring to be, while a yes person’s perpetual advocacy of your ideas might be good for your ego, don’t underestimate the detriment their preoccupation with pleasing you can inflict on your effectiveness as a leader.
You need to help them break the habit, which in turn will help you be more effective.