Bruce's Blog


Verging on the Perfect People Leaders

August 3rd, 2011

…Not to be confused with a Purple People Eater

Since I’m not good at thinking in negatives, I have taken the liberty of reworking Dan Rockwell’s excellent blog, Top 25 Dumb Mistakes Leaders Make, into positive expressions. These are Dan’s ideas, and I am convinced that implementing these will make all leaders and managers, non-profit and profit-making, into outstanding people leaders.

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Keep mission in forefront while accomplishing objectives a few at a time.
  3. Customize relational methods to every employee.
  4. Let people know what you are thinking. Refrain from “assuming”.
  5. Explain your thought processes when announcing conclusions.
  6. Hear people out. Refrain from interrupting.
  7. Use a variety of communication media to achieve purposes.
  8. Be humble and transparent. Take the rap. Refrain from placing blame on others.
  9. Be honest.
  10. Avoid listening to critiques that don’t share organizational values.
  11. Refrain from talking while in the heat of emotion.
  12. Create urgency as needed and then follow through.
  13. Focus on solutions rather than on problems.
  14. Come out. Refrain from hiding in your office.
  15. Concentrate on creating positive and focused meetings to use time efficiently.
  16. Refrain from intimidating.
  17. Manage others’ emotional energy.
  18. Encourage others’ passion for the cause.
  19. Have the tough conversations—now and often.
  20. Practice pro-noia. “Everybody is for me, unless they distinctly prove otherwise.”
  21. Manage equitably.
  22. Provide timely feedback.
  23. Reward teamwork and individual performance.
  24. Focus time and energy on productive people.
  25. Avoid office drama and curtail the people who continually feed it.

Please leave comments of your own that build on this list or refute it. What qualities would describe your perfect people leader?


#1 Melissa Anderson said:

I'm a big fan of the Golden Rule; treat others the way you would like to be treated.

#2 Bruce Roller said:

I agree, Melissa. As a fellow blogger pointed out to me, not everyone wants to be treated alike. My response was that the way I want to be treated is to be asked how I want to be treated and to be heard when I answer. That's how I try to treat others as I want to be treated.

Incidentally I just got framed a poster that UCOM saved from Smith Memorial Congregational UCC where we lived for nearly 20 years. It has quotes from all the major religions of the world that all say the same thing in different words: treat others the way you would like to be treated. It's up at UCOM as a constant reminder that whatever your faith, the golden rule is still golden. If one is not a person of faith, then it's just a good way to respond to other human beings.

Thanks for your comment.

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