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A cautionary tale of effusive praise

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

When the French philosopher Voltaire visited England in 1733, he was so impressed that he immediately published a book called Letters on England.

In the book, Voltaire praised the British so lavishly (“Nobles are great without insolence … people share in the government without disorder …”) that he was nearly murdered by angry crowds when he returned to France. He had to go into hiding to avoid being put on trial for treason.

Lesson: Beware of bruising sensibilities internally when praising how well someone else or some other organization performs. It could cost you your people’s fealty.

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