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While contemplating how many leaders struggle to impart their knowledge to junior employees, the author recently revisited this nugget of wisdom from the business book The Knowledge-Creating Company, wherein former 3M CEO Lew Lehr explains the meaning of an old naval expression his company often uses to circumscribe the role of the manager: "The captain bites his tongue until it bleeds' means that, once a sponsor [i.e. manager] has bet on someone, he doesn't speak out against the project presented. The qualities that a sponsor needs are (1) belief, (2) patience, and (3) the vision to differentiate between one-time and mortal failure."
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