There are three poisons that, left unchecked, will seriously damage our companies: blame shifting, waiting to be poked, and win-lose.
Blame shifting includes defensiveness, making excuses, throwing others under the bus, and complaining.
Waiting to be poked is the tendency to wait for others to initiate and follow up on work. It includes hiding behind rules and procedures, building up unhelpful rules and procedures, avoiding work, protecting the status quo, and doing bare minimums.
Win-lose is the tendency to put self ahead of others. It includes being egotistical, political, aloof, special, or disrespectful with or to anyone. It also includes seeking to come out on top in negotiations and deals, fostering unfair competition, and valuing short-term over long-term gain.
Our role is to spot these poisons whenever they appear, to stop them through redirection, coaching, or reassignment (usually outside the company), and to hire at all levels only those who possess the qualities of personal accountability, self starting, and win-win.
In your corner,
PS: You may find these poisons in action wherever you notice your company struggling.
PPS: We may not be comfortable confronting these poisons. But we must lest our organizations slowly rot from within. Ya, it’s that important.