The Power of Intent - Vineet Nayar - Harvard Business Review
A fellow business leader complained the other day that although he had repeatedly sought feedback, his team had never told him what they really thought about his management style. We've been friends for a long time, so I asked: "Do you want feedback so you can do something with it? Or are you asking only because you think that's the right thing to do?"
The problem, I told him, is that people can perceive your intentions right away; it has nothing to do with what you say or do. There was a long pause, and then he admitted: "Deep inside, I'm probably not ready to hear critical feedback or do anything about it. My plate is full and my team knows that."
It's critical to know your intent as a leader and to communicate it clearly.