Surrounding oneself with only “yes men” or “yes women” can ruin a business. The demise of Merrill Lynch during the recent great recession is an example of a CEO who fired or refused to talk to executives in the firm who disagreed with his strategy. (See this NY Times article.) Merrill was acquired by Bank of America in 2008, in a shotgun marriage that ended a century-long existence of a once-venerated brokerage firm.
Here are six ways you can encourage feedback and get bad news from your team:
1. Admit your mistakes. Nothing is better than admitting your own mistakes to create an open and honest culture in your company. When the boss admits her mistakes, she makes it OK for others to do so also. Hold yourself accountable to appropriate metrics, such as sales calls, and publicly acknowledge when you don’t meet them. If you blow a client meeting, admit it humbly.
From the desk of