This is the final post on “What Not To Do And How Not To Do It” covering six of the biggest leadership mistakes and how to stop making them.

Like the other negative behaviors we’ve discussed in the past several weeks, a bad attitude can manifest in many different ways, often showing up as a combination of some of the other five bad behaviors.

Micromanaging reveals an attitude of disrespect and disdain. It’s saying, “I know you can’t do this without my constant supervision.” Micromanaging is one of the worst things a leader can do. It wastes valuable resources—not only your precious time, but also your team’s energy and initiative.

Obviously, negative personal comments are never appropriate in the workplace, while passive aggression is dishonest and petty. Paranoia and habitual distrust have a corrosive effect on company morale, and usually indicate bigger problems.

Another bad attitude, kind of the opposite of being a loose cannon, is aloofness. Holding yourself above and apart from the workplace community does nothing to build trust. And of course, perfectionism is a very difficult condition to work under; it makes for an impossible situation since perfection is impossible. The perfectionist boss will never be happy, and consequently neither will the employees. Not a great work environment. Any of these bad attitudes can cause big problems for your leadership.

Fixes for a bad attitude

  1. First and foremost, do no harm Make this your objective every day—it covers a multitude of sins.
  2. “If you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.” My mother said it, and yours probably did, too. It’s still good advice.
  3. Positive gets promoted Make it clear to your team that a negative attitude is not going to get them where they want to go. And if it’s your own negative attitude, take an inventory: how many opportunities might your attitude have cost you?
  4. Keep your side of the street clean In other words, before you criticize anyone else, be sure your own house is in order from top to bottom. It takes someone who’s fundamentally healthy—or someone under threat of losing their job—to even consider this idea.
  5. Participation is the key to harmony We are less likely to feel aloof and separate if we participate in the workplace. A harmonious team is much better than the alternative, and from a leader’s perspective, this can also help build followership.

So there you go. We’ll be moving on to more positive topics, but to wrap up this seven-week series, here are my Top 6 Fixes from the last six weeks:

  1. Make it about them.
  2. Never, never, never make excuses.
  3. Earn a reputation for solutions.
  4. Listen 80% of the time, talk 20%.
  5. Keep your side of the street clean.
  6. Always say please and thank you.

It is essential to your leadership that you eliminate as many bad behaviors as you can, not only in yourself, but in your team, too. If this proves too daunting a task, do not hesitate to seek professional help. And feel free to send me an e-mail at if you’d like to talk about some strategies for change. The career you save may be your own.






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