- They Criticize Others. The first leadership mistake that managers make is that they criticize others. Refuse to criticize anyone for any reason. When people make mistakes, focus on the solution. Focus on what can be done rather than who did it and who is to blame. This is the mark of the superior leader with admirable leadership questions. We all know that destructive criticism is harmful. Personally, we all hate to be the recipients of destructive criticism. It can make us angry for days, and even years. Destructive criticism attacks our self-esteem, hurts our self-image, and hinders us from reaching peak performance. It makes us angry and defensive. If it is so hateful to us, why would we ever do it to someone else?
- They Complain. The second leadership mistake people make is that they complain for any reason. Complainers are always looking for something or someone to complain about. They tend to associate with other complainers. They talk together at work and socialize after work. They go out for lunch and coffee breaks together. Complaining becomes a natural way of life for them. But there is a major problem with both criticizing and complaining. In both situations, you are positioning yourself as a victim. When you complain you actually weaken yourself. You feel inferior and inadequate. You feel angry and resentful. You feel negative and unsure. Your level of self-esteem and self-respect will decline as you complain about anything to someone else. If you are not happy about something, as the manager, you are entitled to bring it to the attention of the other person. You are responsible for putting it on the table and discussing it. These are admirable leadership qualities that you must learn to develop. If you are not happy with a behavior or an outcome, your job is to actively intervene to correct the situation. You can do this by being objective about the difference between what you expected and what has actually happened. You then invite input on how you and the other person or persons can solve the problem or improve the situation. But you never complain.
- They Condemn Others On Their Team. The third leadership mistake people make is condemning anyone for any reason, inside or outside of your company. When you condemn other people, you demoralize the listener, and the self-esteem of the other person will be severely lowered. When you condemn people outside the company, someone will eventually tell them what you have said. Usually, a distorted version is told and will come back to haunt you. This seems to be a law of nature, and completely unavoidable.
Never criticize your competitors. Admire them if they are more successful in some areas than you are. Then, look for ways to produce even better products and services, and sell them even more effectively.
Never complain about people and problems outside your business. Instead, use that same amount of mental energy to find solutions. Resolve the problems that led to the complaints in the first place.
--Adapted from briantracy.com