Who really are your key people? Who do you really need to listen to and learn from?
Key people are those individuals who have information, insights, experience, or connections that can help you do your job as a leader. They're also often the ones that tell you things you don't want to hear. They'll disagree with you when others are afraid to, and they'll force you to re-think your initial response to gain a different perspective on the topic. They can be your greatest asset; they can be your biggest nightmare. But, without a doubt, they are key.
Unlike others who work with and for you, these individuals aren't willing to compromise their own views just to appease you. They're key because they're willing to make you angry, if the outcome is a better decision for your organization, your customers, or employees. They're key because they keep you focused on your mission. They’re key because they want you to be a good leader.
As a leader, your responsibility is to identify who your key people are and who are just pains in the fannies. Your guide is to look at their intent. Why do they challenge you? Is it just to be a pain or is it to cause you to re-evaluate a poor decision? If they thrive on being contrary, they're not key - they're pains in the fannies. If they thrive on keeping you focused, they're key. Listen to them.
Copyright MMIII Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC.