- Never say “never.” Find out what’s possible—and even what’s seemingly impossible—before declaring that something can’t be done.
- Don’t live in the past. Having a vision means you’ll be dwelling largely in the future. You’ll also love it, and you’ll be talking about it with your people.
- Don’t block change. It’s usually fruitless. Instead, adapt it to your vision and make the most of it.
- Never belittle or scold your constituents. They helped you get where you are.
- Don’t go blaming others. No single person (except you, as the leader) is responsible for everything that goes wrong. What’s more, blame means finding a scapegoat, and it’s probably the process that needs fixing, not one of your people.
- Don’t boss people. They’ll do what they want, anyhow. Instead, ask them what needs to be done, guide them through the thought process toward a solution, give them permission and encouragement to carry out the solution, and then give them credit when they do.
- Never talk when you can listen. If you make the genuine effort to show interest in what other people are thinking, and if you go out of your way to understand what they’re saying, they’ll follow you anywhere.
- Don’t fight. Blowing up may make you feel better, but it makes everybody else feel worse. Leaders do challenge people—they’re never satisfied with the status quo—but screaming at someone is not challenging.
—Adapted from “Eight Things Leaders Never Do,” J. Timothy King, www.jtse.com/blog/2006/04/12/eight-things-leaders-never-do.