A few weeks ago, Jeff Haden’s The 5 Qualities of Remarkable Bosses made the web/social media rounds. As well it should have: it’s a good post. Read it if you haven’t already.
What’s weird is that we’ve seen articles like this before. Because my mind is wired backwards (boy if I had a dollar for every time I heard that), I immediately wondered why we never see the photonegative: what great leaders never do, what superstar employees never say, etc. In my mind, stopping a bad behavior is markedly easier than starting a brand new positive one. Not that both aren’t valuable, it’s just that stopping something you’re doing by being conscious of it is a lower-hanging fruit than starting a new behavior outright.
Lo and behold, Haden was one step ahead of me. In his recent 5 Things Remarkable Bosses Never Do, he presents a gameplan for leaders not to start doing certain things, but to stop doing certain things if they want to be the strongest boss they can be. Among Haden’s suggestions:
- Don’t apologize for not having apologized sooner. As Haden says, when you mess up, fess up.
- Deliver annual performance reviews. Haden says the best feedback isn’t scheduled, and speaking personally, I’ve never had a productive, insightful scheduled review in my life. I have had countless good impromptu discussion, however. Do the math.
- Hold formal meetings to solicit ideas. That environment never works. Instead, Haden says to listen to employees when they bring ideas to you.
- Create development plans. Again, a waste, a corporate construct to make someone feel good about creating five pages of useless documentation.
- Call in favors. The best leaders give, never take.