Do executives want order takers or critical thinkers?

If we took a poll of senior management and marketing executives, how do you think they would answer?

Do you think they are so command and control oriented that a majority of them would say order takers? Or, do you sense that more of them are blue sky thinkers, visionaries and strategists who want to surround themselves with critical thinkers. Individuals, who not only implement their direction, but work shoulder to shoulder with them vetting and molding it.

Assisting organization with strategic branding and other marketing communication challenges, I’ve collaborated with and worked for CEOs, COOs, CMOs and other senior leadership team members who fall in both camps. Although, I doubt some would admit it or maybe even recognize that they are surrounded by order takers or task managers. Too often corporate culture, job security and income are mitigating circumstances to why employees are ‘yes men or women’ and why third-party providers fill this role only. The other reason is simply skill set.

From what I’ve witnessed across many industries, the best executives give their employees and associates the same leeway afforded most paid outside consultants. They encourage and value everyone’s thinking.

Many times, these are the same executives who seek branding services for like-minded professionals who also understand the value and challenges associated with strategic brand management. People who know it’s much more the brand identity design of a logo, a tagline or a quality Web design. People, like them, who know the organization biggest asset is the people who work for it, especially the ones who don’t take every one of the executive’s comments as the final word on the matter, aren’t afraid to ask why or what if, can see the big picture and always have the best interests of the company and/or brand in mind.

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