A Blog by John Bossong

Leaders Need To Stop Doing

Every leader has a  list.  Check the box. Done.  Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, states that those who built good-to-great companies made as much use of “stop doing” lists as “to do” lists.   He states that once you know the right thing, do you have the discipline to do the right thing and, equally important, to stop doing the wrong things. 

Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, states that it’s easy to say no when there is a burning yes.

What’s your burning yes? What do you need to say no to so you can stop doing the wrong things? What are your wrong things? What hard decisions do you need to make? You can’t say no if you don’t know your burning yes.

How A Non-Profit Used A Stop Doing List



12 Things Leaders Need To Stop Doing Now 


  1. Pointing fingers and blaming.  Practice personal accountability.
  2. Overcommitting. 
  3. Living in the activity trap.  It doesn’t mean you’re busy.  
  4. Trying to do it all – learn how to  delegate.
  5. Living for immediate gratification.  Delay short term gratification for the long term win.   
  6. Reacting to circumstances and events.
  7. Decreasing your circle of influence and increase it.
  8. Focusing on things and focus on relationships and people.
  9. Living and working without goals.
  10. Wasting  time with ineffective meetings.
  11. Hiding information, be transparent (as a person and organization).
  12. Neglecting your health.  Exercise, eat right and take care of your best asset – YOU.

Leaders are responsible for effectiveness. Much has been written about effectiveness – some of the best of it by Peter Drucker. One of the things he tells us is that efficiency is doing the thing right, but effectiveness is doing the right thing -  Max Depree, Leadership Is An Art.

One key to leadership is doing the right things.  But first, you have to stop doing the wrong things. You have to be effective, as Drucker would say.  What do you need to stop doing? What hard decisions do you need to make now that impact your future? Start your stop doing list today.

Have a great week!

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