Bill Harrison - Leaders Never Complain


Posted: Sunday, July 4, 2021
By: Gillespie Electric, Inc.
Categories: Construction News

Before we dive in, I want to make one term clear. Being given the title of leader does not make one a good leader. As we deal with leadership in this series of newsletters, I am talking about the attributes of good leadership. So, let us move on.

Having observed and worked with a significant number of good leaders over the decades, one observation is clear - real leaders do not complain or whine about anything.

For most folks, complaining is the default position as we go through life. We complain, for example, about the weather or the traffic. There is nothing we can do about either one so complaining is a waster of time and attention. The weather will be what it is until it is different. Pounding on the steering wheel has no effect on traffic. Traffic will be backed up until it isn’t.

In business I observe some “leaders” who also have a default whine position. They complain about certain customers, often in front of their team members. Do they realize that this gives the team license to complain about that customer as well? And my experience shows when the whining kicks in events get exaggerated. Can you relate? And we wonder what happens to our customer service.


Shockingly, I have observed some “leaders” berate a team member in front of their teammates. When leaders are behaving this way what do you think the team members are thinking? They might be wondering what he or she says about them when they are not there. Complaining about team members in the hearing of others is a perfect way to reduce morale. This includes suppliers whose sales folks stop by. Talk about a rumor mill. If you had heard the boss had bashed you behind your back how would you feel? Enough said.

True leaders understand that complaining is a total waste of time. It focuses the leader and the team in the wrong direction. Plus, the more we complain the worse things seem to get. Does this ring a bell?

Complaining about anything, yes anything, does not move the ball forward. The building industry is filled with things that might go wrong – on any given day. Leaders create checklists, procedures, provide training, etc. that reduces the occurrence of those things. Are there negative things in your company that occur over and over? Be honest, you know there are. That’s where a leader steps in and finds a fix. Leaders replace whining with fixing. What a concept.

What is your default position?

Got an issue with this, let The Coach know.

Bill Harrison

  • The Phoenix Leadership Institute, LLC
  • 6200 Settlers Trail Place
  • Gainesville, VA 20155
  • Tel: 703-909-8230
  • e-mail:

Tagged:Teamwork, Workforce Development

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