Today, I will tell you a little anecdote.
“Once upon a time” I was invited to a meeting with the company’s CEO. A man known to be strong, with quick decision-making skills. Maybe even scary.
The meeting was supposed to be a “feedback and discovery” meeting with employees two levels down. In other words, the layer immediately below the CEO was not invited to the meeting, but only those reporting to that level. The intent was to have us speak freely, without any fear of what our direct supervisors may think of us.
At some point after opening pleasantries exchanged, my colleague Carlos (bless your heart Carlos!) brought up a concern from his line of sight. It was something regarding the product roadmap, the details are non-important.
The CEO got visibly angry, and proceeded to tell Carlos that he would not tolerate fill in the blank behavior.
Everything was “fine” from there on. I mean, when each and everyone was asked to intervene, the answer was invariably “everything is fine”. Sure? “Absolutely”
The CEO managed to make his own meeting worthless, losing the hardest battle of them all: the battle for respect.