Powerful leaders are often mythologized as stubborn and bull-headed, and that ignoring the advice of others is a virtue.
But researchers at NYU’s Stern School of Business conducted a study on the influence of power in decision-making and they confirmed what many employees already know: people with more power listen less, take less advice, and are ultimately less accurate in final judgments.
The researchers gathered survey data from hundreds of working professionals, and they conducted controlled laboratory experiments where they primed participants to experience varying levels of power and then presented them with advice from others.
They found that greater power meant a reduced tendency to take advice from others. The reason was that the powerful had an elevated confidence in their snap judgments, and that meant that they didn’t listen to valuable advice of others that could’ve changed their mind.
That’s why to successful tech entrepreneurs Andy Grove and Jeff Bezos, bad listening is one of the worst decisions you can make as a manager—because it makes the quality of all of your manager decision making worse.