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The Choice That Makes You a Leader

Obsession with others is avoidance.

I have many conversations with leaders. Sometimes those conversations begin by talking about disappointment in teammates or higher ups. It’s necessary to talk through frustrations. But conversations can’t end there.


Every complaint about an employee, boss, or higher up is an opportunity for you to chose new attitudes and behaviors.

Choose to focus on what you expect from yourself more than what you expect from others.

  1. What could YOU do to bring out the best in others?
  2. What could YOU do to solve your own complaint? Be a big complainer as long as you’re a passionate solver.
  3. What could YOU do to make your organization a place where people love coming to work?


You’re not sure what behaviors will move teammates or teams in the right direction. That’s not new.

If you knew what to do, you’d already be doing it. Uncertainty is always present when dealing with people. Face uncertainty with transparency, candor, and forward-facing curiosity.

3 steps to overcome uncertainty and avoidance:

  1. I’m not sure what I should do. I’ve tried xyz but things aren’t improving. (Transparency)
  2. Explain the problem openly. (Candor)
  3. What could we do to make this better? (Forward-facing curiosity)


If you’re constantly frustrated with others, you live in a small world that’s filled with expectations for others and excuses for yourself.

Expand your world by obsessing over behaviors you should adopt, not complaining about the deficiencies of others.


Constant frustration with another may indicate an employee should be removed or reassigned. But before you choose that path, practice transparency, candor, and forward-facing curiosity.

Always intervene with the best interest of others in mind.

The choice:

Leaders choose to focus on personal responsibility, not excuses or blame.

What are some symptoms of avoidance in leadership?

How might leaders obsess about their own behaviors and responsibilities?



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