In the previous chapter, I purposely left an unflattering remark about seeking diverse ideas and points of view unaddressed. Here it is: “While many of us like to believe that we are capable of doing this [seeking diverse points of view and ideas], it has been my experience that leaders are jealous about guarding their careers. For some leaders (and I admit that this can be more of a perception than a reality), it seems that there is a need or want to protect their power base by ensuring that successful outcomes borne out of ideas coming from their subordinates or command provide some degree of recognition and credit to themselves.” This remark can be viewed as unflattering because it is seemingly attacking not only the credibility but also the motivation of leaders. The implication is that a majority of leaders fall into this category simply by virtue of their position as leaders. I will let you decide if this a true statement based on your own experiences. What I want you to really focus on in this statement is “and I admit that this can be more of a perception than a reality.” The key word here is perception. In fact, perception is a very powerful tool, acting both as a constructive and a destructive force operating within an agency. The perception that subordinates have of their leaders is often one of the most noteworthy factors in their decision to follow or not follow a particular leader.
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