The evidence so far is that Donald Trump is exercising a command and control leadership style. The plethora of Executive Orders, whose legality has been questioned by some, together with his ruthless firing of those who disagree, such as acting Attorney General, Sally Yates serve as clear evidence of the fact. On the one hand, you could say that the President is simply being decisive and dismissing those who are disloyal. However, look a little more closely and it appears that it is not disloyalty, so much as disagreement which is being punished. If this is the case, it is a dangerous precedent for Donald Trump to set, because the logical conclusion is in time he will find himself surrounded by just those who either share his opinions or are too fearful to speak out if they disagree. The result of this will be inferior decision making because the best choices are made when multiple perspectives are considered and valued. Recognising this fact does, of course require the humility to accept that we are not always right.
So what about you? How do you deal with disagreement? Do you surround yourself with “yes” men and women? Do you demand debate when important subjects are up for discussion? If you are in a leadership position, the way you respond to challenge and conflicting opinions will have a significant bearing on the likelihood that the other person will speak up again. Remember one of Covey’s Seven Habits: “seek first to understand, then to be understood” and practice this until it becomes second nature. The reward will be better decision-making, increased buy-in from colleagues and greater ownership of actions by everyone.
For many people, managing others doesn’t come naturally. If you are a first time or aspiring manager, attending formal training can make a huge difference to how effective you are in your first management position. Even those who are experienced can benefit from development to supplement their experience and prevent complacency.
To find out more about our management development programmes follow this link.