‘ Leadership acumen is inversely proportional to the distance from the core ‘
Here’s the thing. The smartest man doesn’t necessarily become the CEO, but the CEO usually becomes the smartest man (for the business). This happens most naturally due to the primary reason that this man as soon as he becomes the CEO, is made to enter the closest orbit revolving around the purpose of the company. He just becomes the closest planet to the star and hence, gets to enjoy a clearer vision and in turn more stakes than anyone else. So a lot more responsibilities are expected from him by everyone else due to this inherited clarity of vision. People who are actually working to achieve the company’s vision and goal rely wholly on this very intel he has to give about the star they are revolving around. But make sure we know that like any other rule this has exceptions as well, and it also doesn’t mean that the smartest man cannot make any mistake nor a wrong decision. Actually he is way more prone to make wrong decisions since he has the least amount of qualifying filters over him, and the most amount of sycophants under him. This is what I call the superior slip.And this generates the smartest mistake of the company. If a CEO has not withered the petty syndromes of the early-management adolescence like Victmism, narcissism or a basic inability to filter an opinion’s worth, he wont be able to tell the difference between the people who are revolving around the star and the people who are revolving around himself. It also doesn’t mean that a CEO taking counsel from his subordinates is at a risk. In fact on the contrary, the risk factor naturally increases with lower ability to counsel. its just that the CEO suffers from a natural loss of analytical filters of his own opinion if he has defined orbits around his own self. To fix that he has to choose his counsel from people who have a keen eye on the company’s vision and fair amount of weight in their wisdom. Who are genuinely revolving around the company and not the CEO’s personality.
It varies in different demographics but this is the reason why the most rapid rise we see is in the disease these days in modern management that a leader is not often qualifying his own opinion anymore. And when it comes to his counsel, he is qualifying the opinion based upon the position that generates the opinion. In other words since it’s the CEO who made a decision it has no probability to go wrong. Every other management team and personnel is carrying this virus that since I’m the boss my opinion is way more scientifically provable than the people in my team. People who are orbiting his own personality will of course second that throughout the life-cycle of this decision. So he is left with only himself to qualify a decision, from conception to aftermath. Since he’s gathered up such a counsel that every bits of the decision he’ll make, will grow bigger than his own self as soon as it leaves his mouth. Its become a thing of glamour and allure to make a good looking decision in some companies. I have seen CEOs and management people sharing a feeling of inner satisfaction and pure joy of going to work every morning living in the shimmer of this praise they get of being such a great decision maker. Its like they are trying to re-live some part of their past lives and wash away the stains of rejections they carrying in their closets.
Pure and highly potent dose of humility running through the veins of the company through and through is the only medicine recommended for healing the cause of this disease. Your counsel is already humbled by your-grace! no matter what size of the leader you are. Its time you grace your own self with humility.