June 7, 2011

What’s the One Thing a Company Leader Shouldn’t Do?

By Paul Bieber

Of course, you could jump out of an airplane without a parachute, but you shouldn’t. Or, you can try to dig a hole to the center of the earth, but not likely. This isn’t what I am talking about. The one thing a business leader shouldn’t do is have a bad day and let it show to everyone else in the organization.

We all have bad days, no one is immune. Whether business related or personal, once in a while, you have a day this is so upsetting that it gets to you. As a business owner or manager, though, you have the responsibility not to let that bad day take your company down too.

Maybe you publicly yell at Mary for doing something stupid, rather than taking her aside for a private thought, and you then ruin every one’s day who heard you. If Bill mismeasures a job, and you let the whole company know it, you drag down every one’s morale.

If you know you are having a bad day, step away from the business for an hour. Go sit in your car. Get a cup of coffee. When you get your sense of calm back, go back to work.

I am not saying it is wrong to be upset at work. Often times you have to show your disappointment or frustration to an employee. But do it correctly, and be a professional. Don’t drag a whole department down because you are upset with one person. And don’t let this one person drag you down. You have a business to run, and if one person is hampering the team effort, take the appropriate steps.

If you are upset with your kid’s report card, don’t bring that to work. If you worried about losing money on a job, get the figures, understand what you have to, and go on. Being Grandpa Grumpy won’t help the company pull ahead.