Say “No” to the “Yes” Man

As the work week begins, analyze anew and plan for the success of your company. The foremost concern is how to trim the fat.  Areas in which to look are: the “yes” man, those that fawn, and you.

Why do “leaders” surround themselves with “yes” men or people that fawn over them? The intuitive answer is insecurity. How better to enhance self-confidence than having people constantly agree with you or grovel at your feet for the scraps at your table?  Else, there is narcissism, having those that completely agree with you or bend to your every need is a fitting meal for a large ego.

A company will not grow if only one man opines and the masses abstain. Presenting opposing viewpoints and debate, or war gaming, provide the stimulus that encourages and nurtures growth. If the “leader,” however, provides the only viewpoint, is always correct, and the best growth is done by him alone, then he need not surround himself with anyone. This extraordinary leader may fire those whose counsel he seeks saving monies for reinvestment. Otherwise, your “yes” man is an empty chair. He receives your money only to agree with you and provide no original insight. He is useless, let him go.

Or, if he abstains from commenting because of your narcissism, and the “yes man” feels he will be punished in some way for dissenting, then you should look in the mirror and question if you are the best for the company.

As for those that fawn for you, they are using your narcissism to their indulgence. They constantly try to earn your favor for a pay raise, a promotion, or the corner office. Do they truly appreciate you as much as they seem or are you a means to the end? Most likely, they laugh with their friends about how they coerce you and they beat their chests over their accomplishments. However, they likely have few true friends because they use their persuasive power to help themselves, which is counter to developing true social relationships.

As a leader it is imperative to surround yourself with experts. Each person with whom you seek counsel should know more about their subject of expertise than you. If not, find someone who does. Your counselor provides ideas to you, not the other way around. Now you have competence around you not “yes” men.  Moreover, you need to be humble in order to accept their guidance, yet courageous enough apply their guidance or not.

As for those who fawn.  They are using their time and energy for their own profit not yours. Seek those that use their time and energy to promote your ideas and have the leadership to accomplish your goals. Those that are successful will be rewarded more so than those that curries your favor.  Their success increases the company succeeds and, therefore, reward is increased.

As the work week begins, analyze anew and plan for the success of your company; trim the fat and serve the meat.


About Orange Diamond Solutions

We are a leadership solutions company. This blog touches leadership topics and issues we feel are relevant. We try to stay apolitical; we just want to bring our perspective to bare and hope you enjoy and become engaged.
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