A Pound of Bad Outweighs a Ton of Good

Developing goodness is war.

The grueling truth of leadership is good doesn’t overcome bad. Be gentle 80% of the time and gruff the other 20% and what are you? Gruff! The same is true for generosity and greed, or gratitude and ungratefulness.

Bad is five times stronger than good.

dog tug of war

Deal with bad:

Because bad is stronger than good, the negative behaviors you tolerate dominate your culture.

Deal quickly with bad. For example, when gossips complain, ask, “What do you want?” Don’t ask, “What’s the matter?”

See Bob Sutton’s book, “Scaling Up Excellence.”


Great leaders are aggressively good because a pound of bad outweighs a ton of good. One lie defeats a thousand honest statements when it comes to reputation, for example.

5 expressions of aggressive goodness:

  1. Choose to be a Go-Giver. “Go-givers go further than go-takers.” Bob Burg. (See the five laws.)
  2. Inconvenience yourself for the convenience of others.
  3. Listen first, often, and most. Fewer words have more power than many.
  4. Find ways to go with more than against. Say yes frequently.
  5. Develop people aggressively and expect them to live up to their potential. Agree on where they want to go and challenge them to get there.

Bring value:

“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” Bob Burg.

  1. Help others reach their goals.
  2. Surround yourself with people you feel free to support. If you can’t pour yourself into the people around you, you need new people around.
  3. Understand and embrace their goals before explaining yours.
  4. People with conflicting goals can’t work together until they find alignment.

Leadership dictionary “G’s”

  1. Gain
  2. Gallant
  3. Genuine
  4. Generate
  5. Generous
  6. Gentle/gentleness
  7. Gift
  8. Gifted
  9. Give/giving
  10. Global
  11. Glue
  12. Go
  13. Go-getter
  14. Go-giver
  15. Goal
  16. Good
  17. Grace/gracious
  18. Grapple
  19. Grateful
  20. Great/greatness
  21. Gregarious
  22. Grit
  23. Grounded
  24. Group
  25. Grow/growth
  26. Guts

**Tomorrow is the “H” installment in the Dictionary for Leaders. Leave your leadership “H” words on Facebook.