Can Complainers Become Leaders

Are complainers potential leaders? Listen closely to their complaints; learn from their techniques. Seeing problems is the beginning of leadership; circling problems ends leadership.

Some see problems and complain;
leaders see problems and seek solutions.

Political Complainers:

The first time I met a political complainer I was twenty-five and leading a growing nonprofit.

She came representing the complaints of others.

In reality she wanted her own way. She overstated problems and ignored success. It didn’t matter that a dying organization had found new life.

Every organizational growth cycle produces political complainers who come representing others. Their power to gather followers is in compassion, real or fake.

Their power of influence is making
people feel they care and suggesting you don’t.

My experience indicates political complainers can devastate organizations. They pursue restoration of the past in the false hope that going back solves growth pains.

Growth causes pain. Compassionate people complain about change because change hurts.

Leadership ends when preventing discomfort becomes the ultimate goal.

Never let those who don’t like
what’s working change it.

Pit bull Complainers:

Unlike political complainers who represent others, pit bull complainers never let it go. Round and round you’ll go discussing the same issues over and over. Tenacity is their gift.

Questions to ask about complainers:

  1. Can they go beyond pointing out problems?
  2. Can compassion and tenacity be refocused?
  3. Are they willing to create and execute solutions to the problems they see?
  4. Are they willing to do what’s best for the organization?
  5. Do they align with organizational values?
  6. Is forward-facing possible?
  7. Can they become loyal?
  8. Can they find ways to talk about the future without complaining about the past?
  9. Can they transition from pressuring you to achieving on their own?

Forward-facing solutions create momentum. Backward-facing complaints de-motivate.

Have you seen complainers become leaders?

How can complainers become leaders?