Issue Number 19: Leadership and Looking for People Doing Something Right

Some leaders lead by exception. They focus on finding people doing something wrong and use those people as examples of how NOT to do things. When they find those people, you can hear the roar all the way down the hall. They claim by focusing their efforts on identifying the errors people make, they are encouraging them to be more careful.

In my experience, looking for people doing something wrong instead of right encourages them to play defense, avoid taking creative risks, and live just below the radar. It is not likely those leaders are going home each night elated by the fact they caught ten people making mistakes. It is more likely they are worried about the ones they missed.

If you are spending your days looking for mistakes and your evenings worrying about the ones you missed, you are filling yourself with a constant stream of negative energy, and that is the kind of energy you will be sharing with others. Why would you want to do that to yourself?

I have tried to help people who are doing something wrong, but I have focused on people who are doing something right. It has not only been a common-sense way of leading, it has been a continual source of inspiration.

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