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How Not To Lead

By: Matt Gossett



As much as a business owner should focus on the right behaviors, it is also important to be aware of the wrong behaviors. With few ways to succeed in business and a thousand ways to mess up, evidence suggests that people are more likely to remember what you did wrong than what you did right. Here are few behaviors to steer clear of:

Offering Silent, Menacing Gestures
A business leader who communicates clearly garners approval amongst his or her employees. It is never okay to offer an employee a gesture as to imply disapproval, especially without indicating what they have done wrong. It’s ok to be forceful with your words but keep your hands to yourself when criticizing others.

Giving Your Employees No Chance to Speak
There are times when every business owner spots inefficiency in their organization and decides to take it up with an employee. When that time arises, allow them the chance to speak. Every story has two sides and whether or not you’re right about who’s at fault, there needs to be a two-way stream of communication to achieve a common understanding.

Engaging in Inconsistent Treatment of Employees
Every business owner should recognize the importance of being indiscriminate. Employees simply will not respect a leader who treats them inconsistently. As a general rule, you want to be as friendly to a sales representative as you would be to your CFO and co-founder. All employees are people, and people deserve to be treated with respect.

Published: July 3, 2013

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Matt Gossett

Matt Gossett is a writer and editor for Tarkenton Companies. A graduate of Washington and Lee, Matt is currently studying International Business at the HEC School of Management in Paris. He specializes in leadership issues, combining insight from business, athletics, and education. Connect with him on

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