Halloween is Over, Right? Beware the Lingering Leadership Ghosts

 

In the U.S., Halloween has come and gone. The masks and witch brooms are back in storage. Fright-night is over, right?

 

Not so fast. There are ghosts still floating wild and haunting teams across the land. Does your business require a ghost buster?

 

Spend casual time with the average employee and listen closely and you may just hear ghost stories. These chilling tales take various forms:

 

> In some companies, make a mistake, and you’re a villain forever. Like demon spirit, your reputation floats far in front of you and lingers after you’ve left the room. You could have the potential to be the most effective leader in the land, but people will never know it. Your ghost lives on, and your company pays the price. How ironic: We want people to improve, but we tie them to the past.
> Additionally, too many teams routinely tell ghost stories about events of the past. They sound like this: “Do you remember how bad that leader was…” And “One of the worst decisions we ever made was…” And “We never seem to have the time to do things right the first time, but we always have the time to do things twice…” Unwittingly, by retelling (and retelling, and retelling) the same scary stories people ensure that past mistakes continue to cost them countless more dollars far into the future.

 

Understanding the horrific moments in our past is not a mistake, but allowing leadership ghosts to linger, is costly. Conduct a ghost-busting exercise today by asking these questions:

 

1. What are the most important lessons we can gain from this experience?
2. How can we further leverage this moment as a resource?
3. If we continue to re-tell this story, how would it hurt progress?
4. Why is it important that we put this experience behind us?

 

The haunted house is closed. It’s time to move forward.

 

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