20 Things Leaders Need To Stop Doing!

There are lots of books telling you what to do to be a great leader. Marshall Goldsmith’s What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How successful people become even more successful tells you what to stop doing! (pp 41-42):

  1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations-when it matters, when it doesn't, and when it's totally beside the point.

  2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our two cents to every discussion.

  3. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them.

  4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.

  5. Starting with "No," "But," or "However": The overuse of these negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, "I'm right. You're wrong."

  6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we're smarter than they think we are.

  7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool.

  8. Negativity, or "Let me explain why that won't work': The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren't asked.

  9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.

  10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to praise and reward.

  11. Claiming credit that we dolt deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.

  12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.

  13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else.

  14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.

  15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we're wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.

  16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.

  17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners.

  18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us.

  19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves.

  20. An excessive need to be "me": Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they're who we are.