I can’t tell you how many times I am in a coaching session with someone, and I end up spending most of the time just listening to them complain. After a while, I have to stop everything and tell them this: The true leader in any organization is the person who doesn’t complain.
No truer words were ever spoken. You may be the appointed leader, the elected leader, or even the founder of an organization, but if you are a complainer, you will never be seen by the employees and other stakeholders as the real leader of the organization. Somewhere in the organization is the person who never complains. He or she will be viewed as the true leader of the organization. The problem is, as the CEO, that person SHOULD be you!
Suck It Up
People don’t like whiners and complainers. I’m sure you don’t either. So, if you are constantly whining or complaining about things, you can imagine how others feel about you. Samuel Johnson, the noted British author, once said: “The usual fortune of complaint is to excite contempt more than pity.” Who the heck wants to be looked at with contempt?
Think about all the famous leaders who are held up to us as examples, whether they are business leaders, military leaders, or political leaders. How many of them complained? How many of them were constantly whining about things? None, that I can recall. Now think about your own organization. Who are the people who never complain or never whine about things? Aren’t those the people you respect the most? They are the natural leaders within your organization.
Time Is Precious: Don’t Waste It Complaining
Complaining is an admission of failure. It is a negative energy that disrupts the smooth operation of the organization. It reflects on you and provides you with an image to others of a miserable, unhappy, and uninspiring person. And it wastes a lot of time…People who are busy complaining aren’t busy doing what they should be doing in their jobs. The late Congresswoman, Shirley Chisholm, once said: “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”
If you can honestly reflect on yourself, and see that you are a complainer, then you need to shift your attitude and become a doer instead. This is particularly true if you need to be a leader and inspire others. Moreover, look around your organization for the people who never complain. They are the aspiring leaders within your company, and you should keep your eye on them. They will be the people who will take your organization to the next level.