The most valuable feedback I ever received didn’t come from a boss. It was delivered by a peer, a person with whom I worked and who had no authority over me.
It was unplanned. It didn’t come in a performance review. It was in the moment, at the precise time we had our sleeves rolled up and were working to deliver a project on time. That’s when he said it:
“Craig, you don’t listen very well.”
What? You just said…I don’t…me?
It stung. I confess. And that’s probably why I remember it 20 years later. I remember it now in those moments when others are telling me their truth. I remember it when I’m trying to influence others to take an action. I remember it when I’m trying to be at my best. I remember it when I want to be a better leader.
My colleague didn’t have to give me feedback. He could have kept quite. If he had, who knows where we’d be as a team if we’d gone on meandering through my non-listening state. I just know we wouldn’t be where we are now.
My colleague was accountable to his role beyond the responsibilities found in his job description. He was accountable to us, to me, to our plan. And through his act of accountability, he ensured I was accountable to my best self.
Peer accountability is rare. Which is a primary reason why self-leading, high-performing, collaborative teams are rare.
The greatest feedback you need for your growth likely won’t come from your boss. It’s sitting in the minds of your peers. They know what you need to do.
Go find out.