Bad Leadership Habits: S/He’s Full of Flaws, I’m Not

If I were to ask you what your boss’s bad habits are, what would you say? Why is it that it’s so easy to spot bad habits in others while we continue to think our own are fine? Worse, we don’t even see in ourselves what’s so glaringly apparent in other people. Especially when it comes to bosses: man, are they full of flaws!

I’m borrowing from Marshall Goldsmith’s list of 20 bad communication habits leaders engage in and sharing them here with you. (See my previous posts here and here.)

  1. Telling the world how smart we are. The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are.
  2. Speaking when angry. Using emotional volatility as a management tool.
  3. Negativity (“Let me explain why that won’t work.”). The need to share our negative thoughts, even when we haven’t been asked to do so.
  4. Withholding information. The refusal to share information so we can maintain an advantage over others.
  5. Failing to give proper recognition. The inability to praise and reward.

“Success often lies not in what you do, but what you stop.” A former Canadian prime minister, William Lyon McKenzie King, had a view of politics along these lines.  It applies to business leaders, as well.

What you stop can make a big difference in a business.  Examples:  a bad executive hire; a bad acquisition; a bad product; a bad innovation or a change in services. But what about the more subtle things, like the way you communicate?

Do you sometimes slip into these bad communications habits? It’s easy enough to do… but first, you have to catch yourself doing them. I don’t know about you, but over the years I’ve become a master of self-deception. I find the more I’m reminded of the subtle little ways I can turn a conversation around to my advantage, by reading Goldsmith’s list, for example, I get better at self-awareness.

And some of these things are easy to stop with a little practice. You get better at stopping these habits by working with a mentor, coach or consultant. Want to know more? Call me: 704-827-4474, or leave your information here on my contact page.

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