The Top Eight Things That Tick Me Off…

This article was originally published on my blog The Difference Between A Duck on May 5, 2010.

Dan Rockwell over at Leadership Freak asked a potent question on his blog this morning:  What ticks you off as a leader?  And what ticks you off about leaders?   It was an awesome question with a lot of answers.  I find his daily blogs to be thought provoking and succinct.  You might check it out.

I work long hours in the volunteer world where you often learn a person’s true caliber.  There are times the drama really ticks me off.

So with the encouragement to take a day and have a healthy rant…

Here are my top eight things that tick me off.

1) Don’t Lie – Those who claim credentials and experience they don’t really have. A PhD and a DD are not the same thing. Nor are a myriad of other credentials alike.  This also goes for those who claim illness or tragedy they’ve never experienced too.

2) Know Your Limits – Those who refuse assistance when they are running behind, “no I’ve got it” and then ultimately fail the deadline or project altogether when it could have been fixed if they had accepted help (or delegation) when offered.

3) Know Your Facts – Articles, reports and claims promoted arbitrarily as fact and w/o references or proof. “Statistics” that have no source. Using the phrase “we do it all the time” as proof that something works, is main stream, or should continue to be allowed, etc. (and gripes me even further when once or twice in reality becomes “all the time” in a debate).  Then there are those brand newbies who do the opposite arbitrary claim “it obviously wasn’t working” to justify disrespect to loyal employees and a complete policy make-over, when the claim is simply untrue, illogical and unsupported by any research or facts.

4) Embrace Maturity – Drama in a professional environment drives me crazy, along with those who would rather start WWIII than accept criticism, difference of views or simply admit “Ok this could have been better.” Those who are more concerned with “winning” an argument than taking care of a customer.  This also includes taking things personally for no apparent logical or professional reason.  More time is wasted trying to undo assumptions made about non-existent intent.  Really, it’s not all about you.

5) Communicate – Leaders who fail to communicate and then suddenly freak-out and look for the nearest scape-goat.  On the other side, leaders who don’t know how to deal with a situation or person, so they literally hide from them. That would go for volunteers/employees too. You don’t have to be a naturally great communicator, just at least try!

6) Listen – Not reading emails/reports even when they are simple bullet points and then having to email/call them again and again.  Refusing to take phone calls.  Not asking questions.  Assuming without logic or basis.

7) Be Responsible – Own and take credit for mistakes as much as successes. It’s part of life.

8 ) Armchair Quarterbacks – Those who sign up to volunteer, can’t be reached when it’s time to work, and then complain about how things were done.  That would also include those who sign up, can’t be reached when it’s time to work, and then take credit for being there when they weren’t, knowing people they don’t, doing things they didn’t and including it on a resume or in a job interview.

So what about you?  What really ticks you off as a leader?

Thanks again for the therapeutic whine Dan……!


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