business news in context, analysis with attitude

As part of its Sunday "Corner Office" series, the New York Times has an interview with Val DiFebo, CEO of Deutsch NY, the advertising agency, in which one of the questions asked was about key leadership lessons learned over the years.

The answer was instructive:

"Donny Deutsch (the company's founder) taught me a lot about giving direct, sometimes negative, feedback. He might say, 'This doesn’t make any sense at all,' but it was never a judgment on your skills or your intellect. It’s just a reaction to work you put in front of him. Then he would come by two minutes later and ask about something else: 'Can I ask your advice? What do you think I should do about this?' So he’d give you a big reinforcement that he didn’t think any less of you than he did five minutes ago; it’s just that he didn’t like what you put in front of him. That was a great lesson, because having people believe that you respect their opinion is really important."
KC's View:
This comes down to leading vs. managing, I think.