Dale Carnegie and Associates recently conducted a global survey of 3,300 full-time employees across the globe. The research was centered around leadership and the impact leadership has on the employees motivation to work and to stay with the company.
One of the staggering statistics that came from the research was that 4 out of 10 employees surveyed are looking for a job now and would like to be in a different company and position in 2017.
One of the topics they asked the respondents was: Comparative Importance and Performance of Supervisors of Effective Leadership Behaviors. This means what is an important leadership behavior that you want your leader to have; and do they.
84% of the respondents said that having a supervisor who has the humility to admit when they are wrong or when they make mistakes is a very important leadership behavior they want in their leaders. And 51% of the respondents said that they have supervisors that admit it consistently.
I don’t think we have to discuss why 84% of the respondents believe it is important. We all have been around someone who we knew was wrong before. And that person, most likely even knew they were wrong, but they wouldn’t admit it. How did those situations sit with you?
The chances are you were furious. You were annoyed. You were perplexed that this person was wrong, and you knew it, they knew it, and everyone else knew it, but they were unwilling to admit it.
In our personal lives when this scenario plays out we are more likely to call the person out. You might say something like “Come on man, you know you are wrong”. “Are you serious, do you really not see that you are wrong on this”. “Admit it you are wrong”. Growing up with two brothers I know I have said this many of times, and they said it to me as well.
However, on the job people are not as casual about it, especially to their supervisor, and definitely not to senior leadership. Most employees would not call out the leadership this way.
So instead what happens, the employee goes back to work. And like I said in the scenario above. They are frustrated, annoyed, furious, and perplexed that the supervisor or other leaders was wrong and everybody knows it, but they wouldn’t admit it.
I am not a psychologist, but I understand that we as humans have an innate desire to not be wrong. We like to believe that we don’t make mistakes. That we do the right things. That we do what we say we are going to do. That we are always on top of things. But if you are reading this, it means you are a human and as a human you know that this is just not the case.
We are not always on top of things and we are definitely not always right. We are going to make mistakes. If you are in leadership you are going to make them a lot, because you are making lots of decisions everyday. That is really your job. To make decisions. And you aren’t always going to make the right decisions, because you won’t always have all of the information. Which is okay. It is impossible to have all of the information. You take what you have at the time, decide, and move on.
Because the nature of leadership is making decisions. If you are a leader you have to become better, I mean really good at admitting mistakes. Just admit it. Own up to it. Once you do this it shows your team that you are genuine, that you are transparent, and this makes them trust you. And this is what it all comes down to. TRUST.
The statistic of 4 out of 10 employees surveyed are looking to find another job. Why do you think that is? Well, if they can’t trust their supervisor or the leadership, then why work at the company. Trust is a fundamental requirement to all relationships. Without trust nothing can exist in my opinion. Trust is the foundation.
If you aren’t willing to admit when you wrong then you are technically a liar, or you are stupid, which is worse. People don’t want to work for a liar, and they definitely don’t want to work for an idiot, which is another blog for another day.
To your success and your future.