In an earlier article I discussed the subject of “Getting the Information You Need” to lead your business…or your department.  Link

In that post I pointed out that sometimes people inside your organization actually don’t want you to have that information.  They feel that it might expose some weakness or shortfall of theirs.  They feel that your visibility to that information might lead you to want to change something.  They fear a loss of control.  All this may sound a bit cynical, but it has been my experience and observation.

It is not at all unusual to be deceived by your direct reports.  People are often quite good at MANAGING UP…meaning managing YOU differently than they manage everyone else.  How do you get around that?

People at lower levels often have a much clearer view of what is really going on in the organization than the people up the ladder.  It is like looking at a pool of water from above and not being able to see the bottom because of light reflecting off the surface.  Stick your head under the water and you will see a whole world of activity you didn’t know existed.

I guarantee you will hear information that you have NOT heard before.

How do you do that?  Develop relationships with people at all levels…diversify your contacts and information sources.  I have found that people down the ladder a few rungs are likely to tell you the straight story…right between the eyes…and that is what you need.


Make it a habit of walking around and talking to everyone…

  • be approachable…
    • ask questions…
      • LISTEN!

Ask them what is working well…what isn’t working well…what could we be doing better?  Have focus groups in which YOU attend.  Have people submit their thoughts and questions anonymously beforehand so it is safe for them to say what is really on their mind.

I guarantee you will hear information that you have NOT heard before.  It will give you a new perspective on your operation and what you need to do to improve it.