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Back Seat Listener.

By July 18, 2014February 14th, 2019Articles, leadership, Leadership


“To succeed, you need to find something to hold on to, something to motivate you, something to inspire you.”
Tony Dorsett

We’ve all had an experience with a backseat driver! Those people who tell you how to drive, what lane to be in, when to brake and if you’re driving too fast. Rather annoying. After all, you’re quite capable and cope without their assistance on all other occasions.

But have you heard of the backseat listener? I would describe myself as one of these.

When I was little we had a gold Holden Kingswood with number plate LCA 457 (yes I’m good with number plates!). It was a manual stick shift and I would be in the back seat with my sister listening to the sounds of the engine and noticing the changes when Dad would change gear. I would then drive along in unison in the back seat, gearing up and gearing down. And to be honest, it helped when I started learning to drive as I learnt in a manual also.

You can learn so much from listening and watching and not making a sound. After all, Dad’s driving skills were a little erratic at times but who was I to tell him he’s driving too fast. I really didn’t know how fast he was going (I did however learn those skills also!).

As business leaders, people are listening to you too. They are listening to how you drive your business, how you change gears when necessary and how erratic you are. They will be learning a lot from you, just sitting back and watching.

My question to you is, will they be learning the right things?

There are always back seat drivers in business. They will tell you how to run your business, what you should be doing, what you are doing wrong and what you’re not doing. The one thing you get from these people is you know what they are thinking and you can take on board the advise if you respect the person or let it go through to the keeper if you don’t!

But the backseat listeners are quiet. They are only observers.

Make sure as a business leader you are aware of these people and how they are observing you. You could be inadvertently creating a monster or influencing a future leader who will influence others.

Be aware of the noise you make and the actions you take. People can hear you.