August 10, 2023 1 Min Read
Confluent Leadership Principle #2: Seek The Truth
Leaders need to know what is actually going on. They need to have mastery of the metrics in their part of the business. They need to be aware of the biggest problems their teams are struggling with. They need to inspect the work their team is doing. They need to build systems to get continual, honest feedback from all their stakeholders—reports, peer teams, customers, etc. so they understand challenges and opportunities through each of these lenses.
Without this solid grounding in reality, the decisions, feedback, and direction from the leader will likely be counterproductive. You must first seek to understand reality, then you can try to improve it!
As your responsibilities grow it will be easier and easier to lose touch with this. If your only source of information is talking to your reports, you have no way of crosschecking their view with the actual metrics of the business, the feedback from peer teams, what customers are saying, the pulse survey data from your team, or other sources.
It’s unfortunately quite common to find leaders who haven’t invested in systems and processes to gather these inputs. Or they’re gathering the inputs but unwilling to look honestly at what it says when it isn’t positive. This is not good! In order to improve something you must first understand it. An out-of-touch leader is a bad leader.
Reprinted with permission from Confluent, 2023