Wednesday, January 24, 2007

20 Mistakes of Eager Leaders

I saw the below list on John Moore's Brand Autopsy Blog last week, and it stuck with me. I recognize some of these faults in myself (God, I hate it when I see faults in myself). I also see some of them in folks I know. We can all learn from this!

Read the below and think hard about each point. Part of being a true leader in any industry is the ability to learn and grow. If you see yourself making any of the mistakes, take corrective actions to better your course.

These 20 mishaps are culled from Goldsmith’s newest book, WHAT GOT YOU HERE WON’T GET YOU THERE. It appeared in the most recent BusinessWeek.

20 Common Mistakes of Eager Leaders

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 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. 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 We Don’t 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 protect 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 exemplify who we are.

*** NOTE: The above list was compiled and written by Marshall Goldsmith. ***SOURCE: BusinessWeek article (sub. req'd) Jan. 8, 2007

So what do you think. Did this list expose you to any of your own faults? If yes (come on, be honest), the hard part is to make the changes necessary to improve yourself. Don't just click off this page and forget about it, take the actions needed to change your behavior. Future success is the reward. And who does not want future success????

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

Marshall Goldsmith said...

Dear Thom,

I really appreciate you mentioning my newest book, What Got You Here Won't Get You There. I am excited to report that the book is now ranked the #1 best selling business book in the United States in both The Wall Street Journal and USA Today best seller lists.

If I can be of assistance to any of your readers, please have them visit my website,, use whatever they wish and feel free to contact me. Thank you for your support.

Life is good.
Marshall Goldsmith