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No. 265 / Criticizing is easy, coaching is harder

Bosses criticize. Leaders coach. 

Bosses consider themselves to be the smartest people in the room. Keep up or get left behind. They talk 80% of the time and confuse criticism with constructive feedback. Bosses sit back, observe, then point out and exploit weaknesses in others. They are quick to defend their ideas and it's challenging to express your own ideas to them. They demand results, make manipulative claims, and give false promises. 

Leaders learn. They ask questions. They hire smart people then get out of the way. When you talk to a leader, they listen, share a few insights and experiences, then help guide you to your own realization. Most importantly, leaders are vulnerable. They are willing to do the same hard work you are doing, fail, reiterate, then try again. Leaders accentuate the positive and help you identify opportunities for growth and improvement. Finally, they take ownership. When leaders demonstrate this sort of behavior, people follow, trust builds, and teams flourish. 

Ultimately, leadership is a choice. Are you criticizing? Or coaching?