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Why leaders need feedback as much as anyone else in the organisation

Steve Pyke, Alan Gibbard, Flowers Gallery

As executives become more senior, they receive less leadership coaching and become increasingly confused about their performance and developmental needs, writes Robert S. Kaplan for McKinsey Quarterly.

What's more, they find themselves isolated from constructive criticism because their subordinates are reluctant to offend the boss. When these executives do get feedback in their annual reviews, observes the author, they are surprised to get specific criticisms regarding their leadership style, people skills, strategic thinking, decision making and priorities.

Many senior executives have mentors as opposed to coaches. The difference is that mentors don't get to observe the executive on a regular basis and thus cannot adjust their advice in response to blind spots or weaknesses.

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