Leaders go blind when they see things that drive them crazy.
10 things that drive leaders crazy:
- Whining and complaining.
- Intervening because some knucklehead upset the office.
- Naysayers and wet blankets. Can’t-do people drive can-do leaders crazy.
- Drifting. You’re dead weight if you aren’t pulling your weight.
- Good enough. It’s pure joy to hear others asking, “How can we make this better?”
- Making yourself look good at the expense of others.
- Lack of preparation.
- Failure to follow up, follow through, and finish.
- Giving up.
4 things to do about stuff that drives you crazy:
#1. Stop obsessing about things you don’t like. Obsessing over negatives produces pessimistic over-reacting. Before long, you look like a crazy squirrel blinded by a nut.
What would you do if you weren’t blinded by things you don’t like?
#2. Train yourself to obsess about what you want.
Successful leaders use negative obsessions for positive results.
- Transform don’t wants into wants. The first step forward is defining what you want. (This takes more work than you might imagine.)
- Invite negative teams to identify five things they want. When people tell you what they don’t want, ask them what they want.
- Move to behaviors. Distill vague ideas into concrete language and behaviors. Who cares if you want people to stop blaming? Describe language that isn’t allowed. We don’t say “they.” Describe language you expect. We say “we”. It’s not, “They screwed up.” It’s, “We screwed up.” Teams say we.
#3. Confront what you don’t want. Tolerance is the mother of mediocrity. Culture is built by negative behaviors you tolerate. Say, “We don’t do that here.”
#4. Go nuts when you see what you want. Obsessing over things you don’t like prevents you from honoring effort and progress.
Warning: When you ask people what they want, they often tell you what they want others to do.
What drives leaders crazy?
How might leaders move from “don’t want” to creating what they want?