Having a team of people around you that agree with you on everything feels great in the moment. You feel like a king issuing awesomeness at every turn. Every idea, every decision, every complaint and every shout is greeted by a resounding, “Yes!” You can’t do anything wrong. Everybody wants to be you.
Little do you know, you may be leading your organization straight into the ground.
While I was in grad school, I called these guys, “lackeys.” Familiar with the term? A lackey is, formally, someone who does menial tasks or runs errands for another.” (Merriam-Webster) I define it as someone who is constantly at your beckon call. In grad school, these were the guys who wore suits to class every day and ran little errands around for the professor. It was pitiful, really. Everywhere the professor went, so did the lackey. These guys were little clones, thinking and teaching like their leader.
Every leader can find little “lackeys.” Every leader, however, should surround themselves with people who think and operate differently.
Because a “Yes” man just could demolish your vision.
6 Reasons a “Yes” man will Demolish your Vision
1. Maybe you need to hear, “No.”
For “no” – I can sometimes have some dumb ideas. Really dumb. And I need someone to say, “Nope. Move on. Start moving in a different direction.”
2. Maybe you need to hear, “Yes.”
I have a tendency to be pretty hard on myself. Yet sometimes my ideas are really good. And I need someone to come alongside me and encourage me with, “Yes, your’e headed in the right direction even though you may think you’re not.”
3. You need pushback on your ideas
I process things out loud, so I need someone who’s going to push back on my ideas and not just take them at face value because I said them. I need the occasional, “Why? Are you sure? Why now? Why him? Why not this?” Reminder to self: you’re not as great as you think.
4. Unity is not the same as conformity.
We should pursue unity, but that doesn’t have to be conformity. Unity means that we can operate together as a team even though we have differing ideas. Unity promotes healthy growth. Conformity can produce growth, but it can also lead to a cess pool of thoughts that never evolve and get better.
5. Commiserating can take you down a dangerous path.
Ever headed there? It starts out innocently. You’re tired and frustrated, so you vent to someone else. And instead of them saying, “Whoa…hang on. You’re pretty bitter and angry right now. Why don’t you take a breather and come back in a few minutes?” They say, “Whoa…you’re right. That’s awful. In fact, it’s worse than you thought. Let me tell you about ___.” If you’ve ever been there, you know that this is a slippery slope. “He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm.” – Proverbs 13:20
6. “Leaders” are vital.
Leaders think for themselves and help the organization pursue what’s best for it. They don’t exist just to follow your leadership. They’re using the gifts God’s given them, and when they do that it is a thing of beauty for them and for you. Leaders produce leaders…followers do not. “Yes” men aren’t necessarily leaders. If you’ve only got followers in your organization right now, don’t expect them to produce, and attract, leaders.
Do you have people in your life that frustrate you because they always push back on your ideas?
*photo credit: Creation Swap user: Savannah Daniel