Earlier this month, one of my favorite columns: The Corner Office in the New York Times, had a very insightful interview with Gregory Maffei, the President and CEO of Liberty Media. This particular interview was fascinating to me as Gregory has worked directly for Bill Gates and John Malone, both power houses in their fields. The entire interview is worth reading. It is a short article packed with good insights.
The one big takeaway for me was this: a leader, at any level, must NOT believe he or she has all the answers. Ask your team. Be open-minded. Encourage challenge and disagreement with strategy and approach. From these discussions, the most creative and ‘out of box’ ideas will be formed. Imagine disagreeing with Bill Gates – he did! He ended up being right. He earned his respect. And, the company was the ultimate winner.
We need to open our ears, and minds, to ideas and approaches which are not our own. And most importantly, give credit where credit is due to keep those ideas flowing from all levels within the organization. Good advice to keep in mind.