Pop quiz here:

  • Do you sometimes second-guess yourself about decisions until opportunities pass?
  • Do colleagues and clients frequently seek your opinion on their big decisions?
  • Do you often get feedback on the quality of your contributions in meetings?
  • Do those meeting ideas produce the results you intend?

Like artists, wise leaders analyze and focus on a situation or problem. Then they decide and act. And even then, as theologian and author Oswald Chambers put it: “It’s never wise to be cocksure.”


We’ve all seen it happen: A leader ascends to a top position, only to see their effectiveness erode because they believe they are superior to those they lead. When we error in defining reality we distance ourselves from realizing potential.

I recognize these errors because I have been guilty in committing them. Not everyone suffers these mistakes, though they occur with enough frequency in the ranks of leadership that it’s important to be aware of these causes of demise.  

If you’ve made it the top of an org chart, you won’t find yourself there alone: Bad news and your company’s toughest challenges find their way to the top, too. To ensure you succeed, memorize and use three key words: Tell me more.

On the surface, those words seem the antithesis to how leadership should respond when you’ve just heard that a major customer is leaving or your primary vendor has raised costs again. Yet, in the moments they are uttered, leaders we’ve coached with this tactic report these five outcomes:



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