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Creating Successful Leaders

By Margaret Smith, UXL:

We have all experienced a work life under the tyranny of a thankless and critical boss. Not very much fun, right? Similarly, we have all probably been guilty of being less nice than we could be at work. With these things in mind, I thought it might be useful to share with you the following interesting tidbits from Inc Magazine’s October 2011 issue.

Here’s an Idea: Stop Being a Jerk

1.  Don’t ban the water cooler. “It used to drive me crazy to see people talking about other things at work. Now, I’m glad they’re doing it,” says Jay Steinfeld, founder and CEO of Houston-based As he reminds readers, “you can’t be paranoid and creative at the same time; it’s impossible.” It’s important that people have an opportunity to interact like human beings!

2.  Don’t discount community service. Being an active participant in charity and community service “trains people’s minds to think about improving other people’s lives,” explains Steinfeld. And I couldn’t agree more! What better way to find a place to reinforce your contribution, self-esteem, and sense of worth?

3.  Don’t Ignore the good tries. Responding to the failed attempts of others with anger, disappointment, or lectures often discourages others to avoid trying new things and taking risks (both of which are essential to fostering a spirit of innovation). “Years ago, I would ream out people when they failed,” says Steinfeld. “Now I tell them, ‘Hey, it didn’t work, but I’m pleased you gave it a shot.’ And say it in front of others. I want people to experiment without fear of failure.”

4.  Don’t leave it up to HR. Instead of wiping your hands clean of your contribution to the company culture, realize that it’s completely up to you. “Nothing happens if the top doesn’t agree or even personally care about it,” reminds Steinfeld.


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