The Cure for Tweak-Boss

Don’t come around – after the job is done – with your pearls of wisdom! If you know the best way to do it, either do it yourself, or explain how you want it done – before it’s done.

leverage the strength of others before you begin not after

“You could have…,” demotivates.

Bosses want:

  1. Initiative. Go do your best. Don’t keep asking questions. Tweaking at the end allows initiative.
  2. Learning. It’s OK to stumble along, as  long as you’re learning. They don’t want to explain everything.
  3. Improvement. Performance was acceptable this time. They want improvement next time.

We could always improve. But, why bother doing your best, when your best is never good enough?

Suggestions before:

Successful leaders own their performance.

One of my colleagues is better than me at support and compassion, another is better at planning. I need their voice in my performance. But, I don’t enjoy their tweaks after the fact, even though I benefit from them.

Leverage the strengths of others before you execute, not after.

I go to my compassionate colleague to gain his “tweaks” before I have tough conversations. When appropriate, I invite him to join.

I go to my checklist colleague to gain his “tweaks” before I execute a plan. I explain the goal and solicit his suggestions.

  1. Explain goals.
  2. Lay out plans.
  3. Ask for suggestions.

Seek input before, not after. Don’t wait for your tweak-boss to come to you with improvements on past performance.

Proactive incompetence:

Tap the strengths of others before you begin, not after.

Don’t flaunt your weaknesses; leverage the strengths of others.

  1. Prepare thoroughly.
  2. Don’t expect others to do your work for you.
  3. Lay out your goal and plan. Seek input.
  4. Integrate their suggestions, when they make sense to you.
  5. Proactively seek feedback after projects are completed. Maintain control of your performance.

How might leaders tap the strengths of teammates before projects begin?

What prevents leaders from exercising proactive incompetence?