When leaders are confident of majority support, it is easier to push through their agenda and changes without any thought of opposition or compromise. Sadly, that is also often the case. Majority leaders care nothing for compromise. What happens when that support is only marginal? What happens when the opposition is fairly young and less experienced? This arrogance is not easily forgotten when the majority is eroded.
Too many leaders live in the success of their past and the delusion of the future. They believe that they can railroad their less experienced opposition or that they can deceptively ‘charm’ them to their side. Yes some persons are naturally oppositional with no merit to it. I would argue that that is not generally the case. Newcomers tend to have zest, passion, a desire to make their mark, and to be perceived as working in everyone’s best interest. Leaders are best advised to capitalize on this exuberance by actively listening, engaging the newcomers, taking the best ideas, and giving credit where it is due.
Leaders who are perceived as arrogant, unwilling to take advice, unwilling to listen, and unwilling to compromise very often descend faster than they rose. An effective leader knows which battles are worth fighting. Such a leader understands that the ability to manage perceptions is a key component of successful leadership. A leader who listens and is willing to concede when necessary, will be perceived as fair and will find less opposition when going to battle.