They say that feedback is the breakfast of champions. I think breakfast is too little. Leaders should try and get as many helpings as they can.

  • Feedback can keep leaders from making simple mistakes because of lack of information. This avoids risk from unintended consequences.
  • Feedback can promote easier adoption of a leader’s ideas from those that we solicit the feedback. This will keep plans from being “dead on arrival” with people expected to live with the change.
  • Feedback can help leaders see themselves as others see them, not just how they think they are coming across. Some leaders tell me they are funny and others tell me those same leaders are sarcastic jerks.

Feedback is an essential component of high performing leaders and teams.

So why do leaders sometimes skip the feedback?

  • They can fear that asking for feedback can make them look stupid or that they may be perceived as weak/indecisive.
  • They don’t want to risk having to change their plans based on the feedback.
  • They don’t really value the input of others.
  • They may be reluctant to look at the potential downsides of an idea. (Very optimistic people can struggle with this one.)
  • They may lack people they trust or respect to whom they can go.
  • They feel they do not have the time and that feedback will only slow them down.

None of these are good excuses and can lead to big issues.

The best way to get more quality feedback in your life is to have more people that you trust and respect. Take the time to create this network. If you can’t find it among your work peers (and that is a problem in and of itself!), then get networks of people outside the job that can help you.

And in the case you are out of options, you can always call me. I won’t judge you or your idea and perhaps you will feel more confident about whatever you decide. And that’s my feedback for now.