Leaders cannot lead from a tower. They need to get down and put their boots on the ground. They need to get the best information possible to help them make decisions. Good information can come from anybody. If there is a problem with a manufacturing line and an engineer does not talk to people working the line they are making a huge mistake.
A leader cannot have the attitude that there are tasks that are beneath them. However, this does have to be balanced with delegating tasks. A good leader cannot be a bottleneck (delegating tasks and empowering employees).
Get your information from multiple sources. The method of communication should fit the level of detail needed. If it is simple, an email or IM will do. If it is more detailed a phone call may be needed. If direct information is required then meet face to face. Big problems have happened when only written text is used in emotional situations. If it is an emotionally charged situation get off electronic forms of communication as soon as possible and meet face to face.
A lack of humility and overconfidence can cause a person to stop listening to others and trust themselves too much. One way to teach humility is to assign a task or give them a responsibility that is beyond their abilities. This will cause growth but remind them that there is always room for improvement. Of course, this must be carefully done because an important project can’t fail. Try to find training opportunities or projects that are open to lots of parallel paths.
~ Troy Pongratz