Article | McKinsey Quarterly | 2011

Top Executives Need Feedback: Here's How They Can Get It

by Robert Steven Kaplan

Abstract

As executives become more senior, they are less likely to receive constructive feedback on their performance or their strategy. To get it, they should call on their junior colleagues. The problem: subordinates don't want to offend the boss. Therefore, as executives become more senior, they tend to get less feedback. Why it matters: over time, senior leaders can become confused about their development needs and isolated from criticism they should hear about themselves and their strategies. What to do about it: cultivate a network of junior coaches who are willing to tell you the things you don't want to hear. And seek input on key strategic decisions by empowering junior colleagues to look at your business with a "clean sheet of paper."

Keywords: Performance; Strategy; Networks; Decisions; Management Teams;

Citation:

Kaplan, Robert Steven. "Top Executives Need Feedback: Here's How They Can Get It." McKinsey Quarterly, no. 4 (2011): 60–71.