As I have grown older, and I believe a bit wiser, it is hard for me to be around yammering negative people. They suck my energy and frankly waste my time. They complain about everything from the organization, their manager, other employees, customers, the weather, free lunches and on and on. Blah blah blah… leave me alone – okay? I am on a soap box of sorts, but this is something all leaders should realize sooner than later if they haven't already – whiners and complainers are not doers, they are idle poisoners.
Idle poisoners are whiners and complainers who point fingers and neglect responsibility when things go wrong. They are also those who silently stand on the sidelines and instead of cheering; hope people fail as they believed they would. They aren't leaders, they are managers at best. They have an excuse for everything and seldom take responsibility for anything. The canyon of excuses is long, wide and deep for these types of folks.
On the other hand, leaders are those who take accountability for the performance of their teams, departments and organizations in which they have stewardship for. They recognize that they provide the direction and do the hiring, coaching and motivating. Who else is there to blame besides the leader? If things aren't going well these leaders take accountability and do something about it. That's why leaders are doers. They aren't perfect, but they strive for perfection. They recognize as Winston Churchill said many years ago "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts."
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if you are a doer.
1. Do you make it a habit not to complain and be negative with those you lead and/or with other managers?
2. When the results you have accountability for are poor is your first inclination to roll up your sleeves and fix the problem (e.g. change something about you, find better processes, improve employee performance)? Or do you make excuses? Do you look to blame other departments, managers or even the economy?
3. Do you genuinely hope for others to succeed? Even those outside of your team, department and organization? Are you constantly encouraging others to success?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, and did it honestly, then you could be considred a doer. Congratulations leader! Now go and help others.
Out of curiosity, how do you handle negative people?
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