13 Ways to Pass the Squeeze Test


The people you serve evaluate you like a person buying bread. Do you pass the “squeeze test?”

Ever have a bad boss who didn’t realize how bad they were? What if complaints about you are partially right? Experience suggests you may not realize you are a stale, lousy leader.

Really lousy leaders don’t know how lousy they are.

Lousy leaders:

  1. Walk around with their nose in the air and their hands in their pockets.
  2. Don’t show-up until something goes wrong.
  3. Think problems are somebody else’s.
  4. Blab on and on.
  5. Keep others on the hook but, let themselves off.
  6. Blow up when their ideas are questioned or challenged.
  7. Hide behind policy and procedure. “My hands are tied.”
  8. Don’t have time for the “little” people.
  9. Have unrealistic expectations. Say, “Just do it.”
  10. Instigate office drama by over-reacting.
  11. Don’t give useful feedback.
  12. Minimize and ignore criticism.
  13. Change mid-stream.

13 qualities of leaders we admire:

  1. Always seek the highest good. “Do no harm,” is only half the equation, the other is, “aggressively do good.” (Every admirable quality springs from this one.)
  2. Hire for strengths but don’t evaluate on weaknesses.
  3. Display confidence without arrogance by staying connected.
  4. Challenge people to be better while acknowledging their progress. We admire those who make us better.
  5. Define “better” together.
  6. Expose their humanity. You don’t have to do everything well. Just don’t pretend you can.
  7. Engage others early, deeply, and frequently.
  8. Thank those who challenge ideas.
  9. Make unpopular decisions in the open.
  10. Maintain can-do attitudes while acknowledging challenges and problems.
  11. Solve problems rather than create them.
  12. Provide support, encouragement, and feedback that enhances performance. (Lots of it)
  13. Maintain focus on what matters most. People matter most. (Including their feelings.) It is personal.

Bonus: Know they’re on both lists.

What positive qualities are most important? Most damaging? 

What positive behaviors do you aspire to?