A mentor emphasized to me how important information is to our success: “It’s your life blood. It’s what you need to make important and accurate decisions.”
Then it got interesting. He continued, “If the information you receive is tainted, if it’s limited, if it’s exaggerated, and heaven forbid if it’s not true…you’re a dead man.”
A dead man?
“Because you can’t survive. Your team can’t succeed without you knowing the facts about what’s going on in the important corners of the business. When leaders think they have the information they need to make good decisions, but they don’t – they’re destined to fail.
“They’re the walking dead. They just don’t know it.”
(It’s like Halloween in June, isn’t it?)
Here are the top 5 reasons why leaders don’t get the facts they need:
1. They throw a fit when they get bad information. (“I’m not going to tell him. You tell him.”)
2. They regularly ask the wrong questions: Those that are backward (problem) focused and interrogation in nature. (Asking about the problem only develops experts at problem identification.)
3. They listen for what they want to hear. (They don’t seek counsel from those who have different perspectives.)
4. They suffer from “I’m-bigger-than-the-facts,” so they miss the details. (Read: Ego)
5. They focus on the wrong information (the numbers), instead of what caused the numbers (the behaviors).
Success can’t be achieved on half-truths. All the facts are required if you’re going to stay alive. This week ask your team, “What are three things we can do to ensure we enhance information flow?” (And then keep your mouth shut.)