This quote from a famous ‘name’ jumped out at me and provoked some serious thought:
When two men in business always agree, one of them is unnecessary.
~ William Wrigley Jr.
What struck me was the opposite of what the quotation was telling us. If we never have competing opinions in our businesses would we be as successful as we could be? It is so often the differences of opinion that help us to refine our ideas.
There are companies where all employees bow to the positions of the leader of the firm. How much more successful could those firms become if there were some discussion, at least, about how best to proceed. Before that healthy internal dialogue can exist, we who lead our companies need to make known that discussion is valued, and that disagreement is not always unhealthy so long as the disagreement is constructive and not destructive.
In the final analysis the boss must make the decisions about the major directions of the company, but wouldn’t it be better if there were healthy discussion, both pro and con, on these decision points before they are made official? If our employees feel comfortable in expressing somewhat opposing points of view, is that not a better environment than blind obedience?
It takes self-confident person to be able to place an idea on the table and to then invite constructive criticism, but that person is a much more adept leader for being willing to expose his or her ideas to that constructive criticism. If we don’t get that criticism, maybe we need to step back and apply some introspection.
Tom Krist – President