There have been many case studies of subordinates failing to question the leader, even when it was obvious that the leader was making a terrible mistake, leading to disastrous results.
The worst accident in aviation history happened because the first and second officers on the flight deck convinced themselves that the captain, the senior most pilot for the airline, could not make a mistake, even though they both saw it.
The results learned from the terrible airline disaster is that cockpit crews are now trained to question each other, with no repercussions for a Jr officer questioning the decisions of the senior officer. Also, the medical profession has taken a lesson from this disaster, and nurses and assistants in the operating room are encourage to speak up if they see anything wrong
From an article on what pilots learned from the airline disaster is the following quote
We learned to teach co-pilots, for instance, that even if God himself is in the left seat, they still have to speak up instantly when something is wrong. Instead of the autocratic leader who needed and accepted no advice, we’ve redefined leadership by creating strong captains who know how to create a team to help them make better, safer decisions.
I wonder if we could apply any of the lessons learned in the aviation to the LDS church? Can we learn to speak up, “even if God himself is in the left seat”, which we are taught is true? When we see an approaching disaster caused by a leader in church, either at the local or general level, can we speak up to avoid the calamity? I think the creation of counsels in the church is a step in this direction, but when the ultimate authority and final decision is left with one man, can this be overcome?
There is probably not much if anything we can do at the general level, as there is no direct communication with those making the decisions. At the local level, we may be a counselor to the leader, or maybe just a concerned member of the ward. Can we speak up in time to avoid the problem, or are we held back by the teachings that our leaders are inspired by God, just like the copilots were held back by the seniority of the captain making the decision to takeoff? Can we question leaders without it looking like criticism?
Have any of you ever tried to stop a church leader from making a mistake? How did that leader take your advice?