When To Bring It Up — When To Let It Go

Mar 11, 2016 1 Min Read


Leaders who bring up every little failure, issue, or shortcoming are irritating nags. They can’t let it go.

When you blab on about trivialities, talented people want to pull their hair out. Or they want to grab yours.

Leaders who dig into small issues waste their talent on trivialities.

1. Mind your business.

Insecurity expresses itself as a need to know everything.

Arrogance makes you believe you can fix people.

Meddling inspires apprehension—apprehension slows progress.

2. Establish priorities.

Leaders without priorities chase rabbits and discourage teams. The only way to let go of insignificant behaviours is to do what matters now.

You aren’t worthy to lead until you know what matters now.

3. Lean toward silence with a smile.

Most extroverted leaders talk too much. The only thing worse than an excited extrovert is a cloistered introvert.

At least you know what the extrovert thinks. Both create anxiety.

4. Establish reporting only where issues matter.

5. Protect your headspace.

On a scale of one to 10, how much does this issue matter? Let others worry about six or seven.

Bring it up if:

1. The failure is about character. Being on time doesn’t take a high IQ (intelligence quotient).

2. You expect others to take action. Stop expressing opinions. Are you simply blabbing on because you’re in love with your own voice, or do you expect something to change?

3. You hear excuses, rather than responsibility.

4. It’s a pattern. Once is fine—three times, it’s time to talk.

5. Others fall below their capabilities.

  • What are their strengths?
  • Are they able?
  • How much improvement is possible?

6. They aspire to be better? Don’t pour yourself into those who don’t care.

7. You can adjust their role away from failure or weakness.

Bonus: Bring it up, if they’re working to improve, but persistently frustrated.

Dan Rockwell is a coach, speaker and is freakishly interested in leadership. He is an author of a world-renown most socially shared leadership blog, Leadership Freak. Not sure when to bring it up or when to let go, write to us at editor@leaderonomics.com. Let’s talk! For more Thought Of The Week articles, click here.

Reposted with permission on Leaderonomics.com.

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Tamara was previously an assistant editor and writer with Leaderonomics. She loves thought-provoking conversations over cups of tea. If she is not writing, you might find her hiking up a mountain in search of a new waterfall to explore.

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