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Acknowledging the Hippo in the Room

A Rotterdam School of Management report found that "projects led by junior managers were more likely to be successful than those that had a senior boss in charge”. They explored the reasons why, here are their top three:

“Staff were likely to fear "the possible consequences of criticising the work of high-status employees"”

"It can be challenging to give feedback if there is a culture of fear around the office" - Sarah Biggerstaff, a lecturer in leadership at Yale School of Management

“Senior figures should "never ridicule or push back strongly in large groups, so that people feel safe voicing their views"” - James Farrow, founding director of UK management consultancy Curium Solutions

They even proposed a highly novel approach to the effect of all initiative being overawed by the highest paid person in the room:

“Solution to the problem is for the leader of any new project to be kept secret, thereby encouraging junior managers to be more willing to put across their honest opinions”

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