The difference between being an average leader and being a great leader is your willingness to learn from everything and everyone. I am amazed however, that so many leaders dont listen to the people that oftentimes have the best information. These are the very people that you lead. Its almost like a leader is more willing to pay large sums of money to outside companies to help grow their organization before they will listen to the people who generate the pulse of the organization.

I have found that one of the reasons leaders wont listen to their own people is because they dont feel like they should be confronted, or have an idea challenged by one of the subordinates. To me this is just crazy.

For your organization to grow and succeed you need to encourage people to speak their mind even if it is controversial. Dudley Field Malone once said, I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me. If all you are looking for in your organization are yes men you will find that underneath a seemingly successful exterior there is actually a rotting and disgruntled core.

Allowing people to speak their mind doesnt mean that they will lose respect for your authority as a leader. Actually, quite the opposite will occur. People will begin to feel like they are a contributing factor to the organization and morale will actually increase. Not only that, but you will find that people will actually start to respect you more because you care about how they feel because you seek out their specific area of expertise. So dont be afraid, let your people speak their minds.