6 Things You Should Stop Doing As A Leader

When you’re a leader, a lot is required of you.

You’re called upon to cast vision. You’re supposed to lead with unwavering conviction. You’re expected to do stuff.

But something that Peter Drucker once said struck me:

We spend a lot of time teaching our leaders what to do. We don’t spend enough time teaching them what to stop.

leaders shouldn't do these things

Isn’t that so true? We do a lot of teaching on the to-dos of leadership. We spend much less time instructing leaders on what to watch out for and what not to do.

So, let’s look at 6 things leaders need to stop doing.

6 Things You Should Stop Doing As A Leader

1. Leaders need to stop ignoring the concerns of their teams: Anyone who’s been on the front lines of an organization, that place where you’re dealing directly with the customer or you’re producing the product, knows there can be a disconnect between the leadership and what’s really happening on the floor. These team members are putting their blood, sweat, and tears into serving the organization.

It’s sad to see them be ignored. Especially since they can SEE what’s going on on the shop floor. Or how customers are responding to corporate policies.

All the while, leadership may be oblivious to this fact.

When a team member brings a valid concern to you, listen to them. Take their issue to heart. Go to work correcting it.

2. Leaders need to stop correcting team members in public: The venerable Vince Lombardi is known for saying Praise in public, criticize in private. And I have to agree with good old Vince.

People have feelings. They don’t like to be embarrassed.

By publicly correcting them, you cause them to live in fear.

Fear they’ll be called out. Fear they’ll be embarrassed. Fear their failure will be permanent.

Use Vince’s rule. Praise them in public. Criticize in private.

3. Leaders need to stop showing their dislike: Yeah, I know… You don’t like Tom. He’s hard to work with. He doesn’t get his work done on time. Or he’s screwed something up again.

So you show the rest of your team you don’t like him. You don’t correct him in public. You do something much worse…

You let the vulgarities fly. You slam doors. You kick a chair. All in anger towards Tom.

You show everyone around you that you don’t like him.

You know what this makes you look like? A fool.

When you show how much you dislike someone, without taking action, you begin to look childish.

There are two things you can do if you don’t like someone – Get rid of them or work together professionally.

4. Leaders need to stop blaming others: Bad choices will be made. And it’s easy to point the finger.

Good leaders don’t do this. Good leaders know they can’t blame others for what happens.

Sure, sometimes the blame will fall on someone under you. That’s the way things work.

But you can’t assign blame all the time. You’ve got to accept you’re accountable to what happens in your organization.

Stop handing out blame.

5. Leaders need to stop expecting the worse from those you lead: When we see patterns, it’s easy to begin piecing together a story that will play on repeat.

We start to see the bad. The ugly. And rarely the good.

Our minds shift from an expectation of good to an expectation of the worst.

To be leaders worth following, we can’t expect only bad things to happen. We’ve got to have a vision that says we will succeed and we will do well.

6. Leaders need to stop abusing their title: Last, and certainly not least, is leaders need to stop abusing their titles.

Leaders can get a power trip and begin using their title for their own gain.

We can’t do this. No, we can’t ALLOW this.

Those who are effective leaders know they only have the title for a limited amount of time. They’re going to have to pass the baton to a new leader.

This means they’re not the be-all end-all. They’re only there temporarily.

Don’t abuse your leadership title. Instead, put it to good use in blessing others.

Question: What else should leaders stop doing? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jane Anderson

    Leaders need to stop with the ego that says either “this is how we did it at my previous place of employment” or “this is how we’ve always done it, so we have no reason to try something else”. It’s disconcerting to have a boss who is so comfortable in ‘what is’ they don’t see the value in ‘what could be’.