Grima Wormtongue. ‘Tis the season for Lord of the Rings binge-watching. Do you know who I am talking about? This character from Lord of the Rings is one of the most despised characters in fantasy fiction, for his deceitful and malicious corruption of the King of Rohan. If you don’t know who I am talking about, no worries. Just imagine a very sneaky person acting as a trusted advisor with a hidden agenda to bring down a ruler or leader.
We have all experienced people like Wormtongue in our lives, unfortunately. The second greatest mistake ever is not recognizing the Wormtongues around us. The greatest mistake is listening to them and falling for their deceit. Has this happened to you? Fortunately, this has not happened to me, although I have recently witnessed almost the complete annihilation of a company and a man’s reputation, all because he listened to a couple of deceitful and manipulative people around him. Probably the saddest part about this is all the carnage and fallout experienced by employees of this man’s company, again, all caused by one or two people.
And, I need to recant a little. This man’s greatest mistake was not listening to these deceitful individuals. The greatest mistake was the fact that he didn’t listen to anyone else. Everyone around this individual saw what was happening, but, just like in Lord of the Rings, they were too afraid of the influence of the “King’s advisor” and didn’t feel they could say anything safely.
The company I mention may or may not survive the future, bleak because of one or two individuals, but we can all learn from these mistakes. My greatest lessons from watching this unfold are:
- Provide an environment where everyone feels safe to share their thoughts;
- Be careful who I listen to;
- Be wary of those who have hidden agendas and/or get too big-headed; and
- Make sure I have trusted advisors who don’t tell me what I want to hear, but are candid, yet honest, in all their business doings.
Finding the right people can be tough! Ninja Gig can’t help you with the Wormtongues around you, but we can help you replace them with a trusted advisor! Sign up for our 14-day, no-obligation, free trial, and let the right candidates in! True, one of them might walk in with a white staff and thump you on the head, but it all works out in the end.