Things that tick leaders off
I’m declaring this “Whining Wednesday.” I’m going to share something that ticks me off. I’m not really looking for an answer. I’m just whining.
It really ticks me off when those going nowhere criticize those working to go somewhere. Who do they think they are? How can they give themselves permission to be arm chair quarterbacks? Honestly, when I listen to the visionless criticize vision; I want to ask them, “Where are you going in life?” I want to ask, “What happens to me if I listen to you?” I want to say, “Where are you taking your circle of friends?” Or, “Who are you lifting higher?”
I’m not thinking about individuals grappling with finding vision. I’m thinking about short-sighted folks who yank the rug out from you when you’re striving to be long-sighted.
Hey, this feels good. I’m on a roll! Here are a couple more things that tick me off!
It really ticks me off when people say they’ll do something and don’t do it.
It really ticks me off when people pretend they can do something when they know they can’t.
I know good blogs offer solutions that include lists of actionable items, but not this post.
I’m interested in what ticks you off. What’s the burr under your saddle, stone in your shoe, or tack in your chair? Feel free to post under a false name. Your irritation may become the topic of a future blog. If you leave a juicy, negative gripe, I’ll try and turn it into a positive blog. That might tick you off even more. 😉
What’s one of your leadership frustrations? How do leaders tick you off?
If you’d like a positive blog check out this popular post. http://leadershipfreak.blog/2010/04/16/influence-over-a-cup-of-coffee/
Dan. I am on board for Whining Wednesday…
What frustrates me is really a combination of your points. As a consultant I work in a number of organisations and I find the most difficult thing to deal with is working daily with the people who experience the consequences of the ‘leaders’ who display those characteristics you mention.
People who are meant to lead but who do not do what they say they will do and pretend they are capable to lead when they are not. They claim to hold a vision of a way forward but seem to only stay around long enough to frustrate and confuse their team before they move on to another role.
Those left behind are confused and frustrated and many times their reward is a new leader who has a different vision.
Thanks for the opportunity to vent!
How is it that EVERYONE can be having the same day today…
1) People who do stupid things when they know better! (not just once off)
2) People who cant follow simple written instructions with messing everything up
3) People who assume you can magically solve all thier issues, just because you have helped them previously.
yes – I am just whining too!
Great Post! I enjoyed it, but as I said, how can everyone be having the same day…
Dan, thanks for this post.
I feel frustrated when people say:
“This is the way things are working for last X years”
“We don’t have time for this”
And this is special “Lets get this out of door right now. If customer notices it then we will redo the work, but if they don’t then it is OK.”
I feel Paul Marshall’s frustration! When a Manager does not follow the established process(s) it causes problems for others as well as setting a bad example for the people who they are to be managing!
People who don’t practice what they preach.
People who take a part of a story and stretch it or just totally mess it up because they didn’t get all the facts before opening their mouth.
Perfect timing for this post, thanks Dan.
I get frustrated when I’m given the responsibility for reaching a goal, making a change or just completing an assignment but I’m not given the authority to make it happen. It reflects poorly on me that I am not effective in the role I’m expected to play. However, I do not have the tools I need to get the job done. Grrrrr.
Interesting post – I feel blessed that nothing jumps right to mind.
It got me thinking “what do I do that could really tick people off?”
Here are a couple of things that I may be guilty of (and I’ll change the phrasing around a bit):
– “It probably ticks people off when I let my own stress affect the way that that I treat them”
– “It probably ticks people off when I put my own needs and wants in front of theirs”
– “It probably ticks people off when I don’t demonstrate improvement in areas where I know I need to get better”
What do you think?
What really ticks me off are fellow employees who think the projects are about them instead of about satisfied clients. And the responses that “we can’t make that change because it doesn’t follow the company standards” (that are about 15 years out of date due to technology improvements). On top of that, we can’t find a single project that completely follows the standards, so the standards can be violated when it’s convenient, but not when we really need to for a quality set of drawings.
The three issues you mentioned are at the top of ‘ticks me off’ list! I’ve been grappling with what about my leadership style that seems to invite people who don’t do what they say they will do… or claim to have skill sets that they either don’t actually have or fail to apply them to the work they agree to do.
As the founder/director of a NPO, building an organization from the ground up…. I must rely on volunteers, at this point. I don’t really have the time or energy to be ‘ticked’, but the issues are prevalent.
I must confess I am a bit embarrassed to submit a comment for the first time, on Whining Wednesday!
I, too, have a list of pet peeves:
At the top of the list:
“We’ve always done it this way.”
And then there’s:
People who don’t do what they say they will, and then make excuses why they didn’t.
People who don’t return phone calls and e-mails.
People who lie, and don’t own up to it.
People who don’t use punctuation and spelling correctly.
People who don’t use grammar correctly.
I get frustrated when working on a project some people are lazy to contribute but on completion of the task they are the first ones to jump the queue up to the front to claim all the praise.
Did you write this post on Monday? If so, we may have been on the same wavelength when I tweeted:
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” ~Chinese Proverb
I continue to enjoy your posts – thank you!
Peoples failure to make decisions.
As Roseanne Rosannadanna would say….”you know what I hate…”
“Other” leaders who…
-hold staff accountable but not themselves,
-blame, find fault but not in themselves, “gotcha”
-are on cruise control as if an entitlement,
-are asked to lead but not given the resources
-believe that staff cannot see that the emperor is sans clothing.
-blame, find fault but not in themselves,
-think that ‘half-fast’ is good enough,
-ignore whoever the customer is (as in stopping service to a person in front of them to answer a phone or not even acknowledging the person),
-say on the phone, “can you hold please” and put you on hold before you respond…(wait that impacts the prior whine).
-do not treat staff like a person and do not give eye contact
-have 10 items in a 9 item or less line.
…you know what I hate, holding up the mirror and seeing myself in any of the above…ouch!
Well, since you gave us the option for anonymity (thanks for that), to be absolutely perfectly honest it is leaders who will not try to accommodate employees who are parents, who don’t want to miss important things in their children’s lives, and would bend over backwards to meet their employer’s needs even if it meant staying up later, getting up earlier, or something else.
That said, we can be peeved at our leaders and whine about them but ultimately we as employees have an obligation to either find a way to live with the things we whine about, attempt to change them, or find another work environment that works better for us.
I love how many comments this post generated!
The lack of personal responsibility in society today.
Right now, my pet peeve is my smoke alarm is beeping and I am not tall enough to change it even on my step ladder.
But what I hate is when people who have known you for years,believe someone else who is in authority, instead of you.
I too can relate to most of the above examples; how about teammates that bring you a problem and can give all sorts of reasons why it’s a problem, but have put no thought or effort of any kind toward a possible solution? At least show me that you’ve tried to think it through and come up with something on your own!
I love Tina’s proverb –
I have a special thought for the simpleton phrase.
Thats my hot button
Thanks Dan, this is especially timely…. I work long hours in the volunteer world where you often learn a person’s true caliber. There are times the drama really ticks me off.
I’ve a mix of frustrations and can’t wait to see what you might write from all the input today? I should also qualify that my frustrations are not necessarily indicative of the volunteer world as a whole. Still, we see our share of oddity….
1) Don’t Lie – Those who claim credentials they don’t really have. A Ph.D. and a D.D. are not the same thing. Nor are a myriad of other credentials alike.
2) Know Your Limits – Those who refuse assistance when they are running behind, “no I’ve got it” and then ultimately fail the deadline or project altogether when it could have been fixed if they had accepted help (or delegation) when offered.
3) Know Your Facts – Articles, reports and claims promoted arbitrarily as fact and w/o references or proof. “Statistics” that have no source. Using the phrase “we do it all the time” as proof that something works, is main stream, or should continue to be allowed, etc. (and gripes me even further when once or twice in reality becomes “all the time” in a debate).
4) Embrace Maturity – Drama in a professional environment drives me crazy, along with those who would rather start WWIII than accept criticism, difference of views or simply admit “Ok this could have been better.” Those who are more concerned with “winning” an argument than taking care of a customer.
5) Communicate – Leaders who fail to communicate and then suddenly fly into a panic that “no one is doing their job.” On the other side, leaders who don’t know how to deal with a situation or person, so they literally hide from them. That would go for volunteers/employees too. You don’t have to be a naturally great communicator, just at least try!
6) Listen – Not reading emails/reports even when they are simple bullet points and then having to email/call them again and again.
7) Be Responsible – Own and take credit for mistakes as much as successes. It’s part of life.
8) Armchair Quarterbacks – Those who sign up to volunteer, can’t be reached when it’s time to work, and then complain about how things were done.
Thanks for the therapeutic whine Dan……
I love this post!! Sometimes we do need to whine and just get it out so we can move on. It drives me crazy when…
People say one thing and do another.
People text message while driving.
People yell and scream at customer service employees.
I could go on and on…but I will spare everyone, especially myself.
Thanks for opening the can on this. It really ticks me off when people in leadership positions can’t manage their own emotions. You shouldn’t have to flip a coin to see what kind of crazy out it’s gonna be today…
wow! looks like you hit a nerve with this one. it really annoys me when the top people with authority over others don’t use it so that those of us who have to achieve the results they want through influence can get on with our part of the job done.
Indecisiveness on the part of superiors, non-response to phone calls or e-mails, biting from the back,egoist behavior and non-action of government staff all make me whine and disturb my emotional balance at least for a day. No solution to these indifferences. One needs to overlook and move ahead with alternate course of action to remain enthusiastic and goal-oriented.
It’s not really Wednesday anymore so… here’s a gripe of a different kind: It REALLY ticks me off when I get dismissed with “Have a nice day” with THAT tone! Youth ought to respectfully listen to wisdom, it’s all to their gain.
Great post Dan and I love the comments and also really liked Tina’s quote. In my line of work my biggest pet peeve is the time and energy wasted on trying to accomodate the “CAVE” dwellers: Continuously Against Virtually Everything. I am slowly learning to ignore them and focus my attention on the silent majority who are willing to listen and recognizing the top performers that we as leaders often take for granted.
Thanks Al….will be looking to excavate the CAVE dwellers, great one!
I think you touched a nerve or two, Dan.
What ticks me off? Someone who uses their position to exert ‘power’ over others. Someone who takes credit for another person’s work. And just plain lack of respect.
Deep sigh. Finally, at the risk of ticking someone off, today’s a new day and I am blessed!
My top 10 list:
1. Not walking the talk.
2. Compromising values
3. Breaking promises
4. Not forgiving to apologies
5. False/Dishonest fronts
6. Sucking up
7. “Dirty” politics
8. Spineless and heartless leaders
I recently had an opportunity to work with a cousin of my who runs a sole proprietorship in an industry which provides retail service to the Gems and Jewelery Industry.
It was decided first hand that I will give it a month, we will not talk about money (though we were not talking big bucks here) and take it from there. Thanks to my previous job and a recent project, I did not have to worry on the financial front. I hoped my creative side could focus and impart some value in this venture.
Sadly it was a major eye opener. While he was great Marketing guy and could articulate and speak well, he lacked basic people skills.
There was a total lack of Time Management.
Here was a leader who taught in the Industry on how to serve the customers but failed to preach within his own enterprise.
I was truly pissed, however could not say to him anything on his face
– he was family (married to my cousin)
– who was i to tell him how to run the show.
How can you succeed in you goals as a Leader if you lack basic people skills and are too hot headed to heed to any advice.
I decided to send him an email at the end of month calling it Quits. It did teach me something – ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD.
Democrats are my nerve tweak-er. How anyone can sit around and think that big government and forcing people to support others who have no intention of supporting themselves, not because they can’t, but because they won’t, is well beyond rational and intelligent thinking.
Another thing that bugs me is people who have to ask for permission to do everything.
Oh, and I cannot stand the word “boss,” or cops that that work speed traps.
In the immortal words of Forest Gump, “That’s all I have to say about that.”
What ticks me off:People with big egos that know everything, but don’t know everything. And rather than give you respect for what you know, they come up with ways to sabatage what you know.
Latecomer to Whining Wednesday, but hey, I’m in! It ticks me off that I am a week late (no, not my main gripe).
My greatest source of frustration has to be my inability to secure a fulltime pastoral position in a church. I have been “stigmatized” by a divorce from an unfaithful spouse 14 years ago and have been unable to “break back into the ranks” of the pastorate. The “circles” I grew up in and the churches that I would align myself with, either hold to a “no divorce under any circumstance” position or simply bypass my resume altogether because I have been “out” of fulltime ministry for so long. I have continued to serve the LORD in areas where I have been “allowed”….two Senior Living Communities in the area where I live and also as a Hospice Chaplain BUT still feel that I have not “fulfilled my calling”. Frustrated, irritated, at times angry, often times depressed over a situation that seems to have no “real” practical solution.
There, I feel much better now. Thanks Dan, for allowing me to vent and the opportunity to “rant” for awhile. Phew, I feel better now. Hmmmmm….is there a position for a Pastor of Gripes & Complaints on a Pastoral Staff somewhere?
Relatively new to your blog, I have spent some time reading through many and found this one particularly interesting. I began working as a teenager babysitting, cleaning homes and taking in ironing. Now in my mid 50’s with a variety of life and work experience to refer to, I find that I have experienced a an array of what has been labeled “leadership” both in the Christian Ministry field and in manufacturing and service fields. And I have been both a leader and a staff person and admit not always as good at any role as I would hope to be.
My observation is that the whines don’t really change much. I find whining generally unproductive (I laughed at the teen who thought moving the hammock would be too hard so he mowed around it). And frankly I don’t feel much better after my whine unless it is in my journal where I can begin to look at who I am and why I respond to the situation the way I respond. Looking at my motives and the real source for my response (practical and emotional) are the most helpful. There are so many poor work situations with leaders who have no interpersonal skills, no concept of the value of listening and who lack personal integrity (just look at the current economy and political system if the examples in these replies aren’t enough), one could give up on being a quality employee or leader.
What I am coming to see is that we must become the leader even in an unpaid servant role or in a supportive role (say the janitor isn’t generally considered a leader but maybe he/she really is or could be???) by changing ourselves and Learning to clarify our own values and how we will operate. Leadership is not always in the hands of the person assigned the position.
Creating a set of leadership values for me began when I first met and was gifted with the chance to work with Dr. W. Edwards Demming (dec) and began to implement his 14 Points of Continual Improvement. What Demming shows us is that these apply personally, relationally and professionally. And they must include honesty.
Possibly working Step 4 in the 12 steps would help (Creating a Fearless Moral Inventory) because then it leads to making amends and finally getting on with the rest of the steps. If I am healthy I can be a leader and even those “over” me in the food chain may see something worthy.
As I face myself and choose who I want to be, I become a better leader, whatever the task. I cannot change any other person directly. But as I change myself and my way of working then others will be affected. “nothing changes until something changes” so I choose to become a change agent!
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What ticks me off are people who equate strategy with gold plating solutions.
In their rush to crow bar in a solution the cheapest possible way they create a rod for their own back, then complain later that it costs too much to change!
A well thought through strategy saves you time and money in the long run, and may also reduce your testing as you build it.
Ahh… that feels better 8^)