Propel your career by tapping the wisdom of the crowd

Media coverage of organizations (large and small) places so much attention on the leader that it is easy to believe that leadership is a solo journey. Achievement can fuel that belief. In the wake of success and growing attention, leaders can fall victim to their worst selves, resulting in overconfidence, narcissism, a loss of self-control, and eventual isolation. The myth of the self-made leader is so strong that these traits are sometimes confused with success itself.

Bain’s Darci Darnell notes how important it is for leaders to surround themselves with people they can trust who can help them learn and grow. To enable your team, she argues that you must be vulnerable. You have to admit when you are wrong or make a mistake. Most importantly, you need to allow others to help when you don’t know what to do. That vulnerability pulls others into the problem solving and draws out the best ideas from those around you. It is the wisdom of the crowd that will carry you through tough times and hard decisions. She maintains that the most successful leaders are the ones that admit they don’t know everything and take advantage of the great minds around them. Indeed, leveraging that crowd can carry you throughout a career.

To hear more from my interview with Darci Darnell (Senior Partner and Global Head of Customer Practice, Bain), watch the video. We discuss a range of topics including how firms earn growth through customer love, the importance of localizing global brands, and the future of work where humans and machines collaborate.

Leadership Notes is a blog and video series on leadership.  Through interviews with leaders from both the private and public sector, Johnson examines key leadership issues like empowerment, team development, and cultural dexterity.  The blog also addresses topics such as learning from failure, the importance of friendship, and the role leaders play in developing organizational culture.

You can access the entire library of entries on LinkedIn.

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