June 12, 2023
by John O. Burdett
Yesterday, the team worked for the leader. Today, the leader works for the team. When you step back to reflect, what becomes patently apparent is that at no time has listening been more important.
You can’t listen in a vacuum. Or as the late Peter Drucker pointed out, “Fifty years ago a leader knew the answer … today they ask great questions.” Asking a great question without a comparable skill when interpreting the answer is about as useful as throwing an anchor over the side without a rope or chain attached. As for the paradox, to add texture to the current crisis, at no time in our history have leaders been faced with today’s volume of background noise, with the present blend of speed and complexity, and with the current reality that to lead invariably means being less knowledgeable than those being led.
Yesterday, the team worked for the leader. Today, the leader works for the team.
When you step back to reflect, what becomes patently apparent is that at no time has listening been more important. At no time has your team needed you to listen more than they do now. At no time have those you rely on the most had a greater need for you to hear what they have to say. At no time, however, have there been more physical and emotional barriers.
The good news? As we move forward, discontinuous change can be a learning experience like no other. The not such good news? Don’t expect simplicity, sagacity and stability to break out any time soon. Believe it or not, when we look back, today may well seem like the good old days.
Download the full insights
- The Listening Paradox
- Why Don’t We Listen?
- Becoming Better Listeners
- To Listen Is to Care
This article is an extract of content © Orxestra® Inc. The download is available from the TRANSEARCH International website.
John O. Burdett is founder of Orxestra® Inc. He has extensive international experience as a senior executive. As a consultant he has worked in more than 40 countries for organisations that are household names. John has worked on organisation culture for some of the world's largest organisations. His ongoing partnership with TRANSEARCH International means that his thought leading intellectual property, in any one year, supports talent management in many hundreds of organisations around the world. Get in touch with John O. Burdett »