Stink Bugs and Flowers
There are two types of leaders, stink bugs and flowers.
When stink bugs show up, everything stinks.
- Fear goes up.
- Teams feel dumb.
- Nothing’s good enough.
- The past is more important than the future.
- “Little” people are punished.
- “Important” people are given exemptions.
- Standards are set after the fact, not before.
Everyone celebrates when stink bugs leave.
- Focus on opportunity.
- Define success. People know what winning looks like, when fragrant leaders show up.
- Fuel energy.
- Make people believe they matter.
- Evaluate ideas on merit, not who spoke them.
- Center status on performance and contribution, not position.
- Serve people, rather than people serving them.
7 ways to be the leader others love to see coming:
- Be a learner not a knower. Learning makes you beautiful, when it’s put into practice.
- Let others outdo and outshine you.
- Listen to suggestions.
- Figure out what people love doing.
- Explore and create alignment.
- Recognize the talent, skill, and knowledge of teammates.
- Spend time with people who are smarter than you.
- Go with someone else’s gut.
- Ask “dumb” questions. Don’t feel you have to know more than others.
- Say, “I don’t know,” when you don’t.
- Look for what’s working. Stink bugs focus mostly on mistakes. Fragrant leaders analyze success.
- Serve others so they serve others, not you. Exponential success goes beyond you.
- Lift more than put down.
- Calm your spirit. A frazzled spirit never instills confidence.
- Reject isolation.
- Walk around.
- Check in.
- Ask questions.
- Spread cheer. Smile.
- Talk more about where you’re going than where you’ve been.
Project: Make a list of every thing you did last week to lift people. What can you do this week to lift your team? Be specific.
Evaluate: If you wonder if you’re a stink bug, the fact that you wonder, suggests you are. It’s time to up your game.
What leadership behaviors make leaders attractive?