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Letting Go of the 12 Behaviors Holding You Back

12 Behaviors that always hold leaders back:

  1. Avoiding. Avoiding is the path to mediocrity.
  2. Copying others and losing you. Copying others is useful when it aligns with your strengths. When it doesn’t align, it creates stress, pressure, frustration, and failure.
  3. Over thinking and under acting; stressing preparation over execution. Most organizations plan well and execute poorly.
  4. Hiding from what you really think or feel. The need to please others causes you to lose yourself.
  5. Asking “why” too much.
  6. Not realizing success is making others successful.
  7. Complaining – Blaming – Excuse making.
  8. Withholding feedback.
  9. Not asking for feedback. According to Kouzes and Posner the most neglected leadership behavior.
  10. Doing too much.
  11. Not resting.
  12. Withholding honor, praise, and recognition.

Bonus: Neglecting self-reflection.

8 Behaviors that propel leadership success:

  1. When you don’t like something, say it to someone, but not everyone.
  2. Ask “what” and “how” more than “why.” “What” and “how” are execution questions. “Why” questions often spiral into excuse-making. Substitute “what” for “why.”
  3. Create and agree on high standards and deliverables, together, and hold everyone to them, especially yourself.
  4. Be positive about the future even if the negative past drags you down.
  5. Celebrate progress more than correcting mistakes. Never let passion for improvement make you a critical, negative, nitpicker.
  6. Take action. Follow Tom Peter’s advice, “Just do something.”
  7. Focus on next steps.
  8. Know and understand team members.

Bonus illustration:

A leader said, “I don’t like pressuring people.” I asked, “What do you like?” He said, “I want people to enjoy what they do.”Eventually, he decided to say, “I want you to enjoy what you do,” and avoid creating escape hatches like, “I don’t want to pressure you.”

Which negative behavior is most damaging and why?

What positive behaviors best propel leadership success and how?

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