Yes men are the people always willing to agree with or go along with the leader for any of a number of reasons.
Yes men (or women) have a reason to believe that contradicting the boss or executive is detrimental to their career.
If you see this in your business, and you are at the top – you did this. You either inherited or created a culture of Yes Men and you likely have failed to address it.
At first it feels good. It’s great to feel like the smartest person in the room that everyone looks up to, the person who everyone agrees with. But it does not bring change, it will not bring innovation, it will never make your company distinctive or set you apart from the competition. It will stagnate you.
Yes Men fail in the actions your business really needs:
- Challenging how money is being spent and why
- Courage to innovate
- Willingness to be accountable for a creative solution
- Desire to adopt new ways of marketing or selling your brand
- Being a unique player in a highly competitive market
Sure your business is doing fine. But, are you okay with fine?
Yes men are more about someone’s ego than what is right for the business.
Be willing to hire strong, capable people who are experts in their field. Create an atmosphere of trust where they feel safe telling you what they believe or think. Learn how to facilitate the kind of meetings that pull the best ideas out on the table. Ask yourself these:
- When a “friendly critic” comes into the company, are they embraced or chased out?
- Do you take challenge as a personal attack?
- Think about it. Who could you ask or trust in the business to tell you what you really need to hear?
- Who is the person who has the guts to challenge the status quo?
- Are your ‘challengers’ really contrarians or do they have a passion for success?
- Are they discounted because they are not following in the steps of your Yes Men?
Are you a strong enough leader to allow yourself to be challenged by your employees?
It’s YOUR culture, what are you going to do about it?