Public Mobile CEO learns: shoot your mouth off early, enjoy egg on your face later

Posted July 7, 2010 in Communication, Latest News & Insights

Public Mobile CEO Alek Krstajic went on recorded making cracks about rival Wind Mobile’s challenges with “dead zones” in their network coverage.  And then, good golly, doesn’t Public Mobile get plagued by multiple dead zones in Montreal, running into the same issues as Wind.  Ooopsy.

Pre-Public Mobile’s own launch Krstajic was quoted as saying “You’re always going to have a dead spot here or there.  The point was not to have a Swiss cheese network.”  The comments were directed towards Wind’s well publicized network difficulties.

Nice potshot.  Unfortunately, until you’re in any situation, you don’t know what you don’t know.  Worse, some of our digs can come back and bite us in the behind, as they have with Krstajic who’s customers can’t even get reception in the Montreal stores.

Some of the challenges we face as leaders is self-inflicted.  In this case, I’m sure Krstajic would have preferred not to have his face on the cover of a national newspaper with the headline “Network troubles” and probably wouldn’t have if he hadn’t made that one little shot at a competitor.  But it’s hard to resist when you’re passionate about your product!

As leaders, we need to be cautious about throwing around criticism before getting a good look under the covers.  This may require a certain degree of self restraint.  And frankly, some people are better at keeping there thoughts and feelings in check than others.

As leaders, we each have specific behaviours that are both assets and liabilities.  And, every asset has a liability and every liability has an asset.  It just depends on the situation.  Let’s take a closer look at the behaviour known as “self-restraint”.

In terms of being able to restrain yourself from expression your opinions, being passionate and outspoken may provide an exciting, spontaneous environment and garner you a reputation for being “direct”, a “straight shooter” or someone who “tells it like it is”.

On the other hand, it can also give you the reputation as being a “loose cannon”, “too excitable” or “quick to overreact”.  (Speaking from a bit of personal experience here, may I add).

So, if you’re someone who struggles with keeping your mouth shut from time to time, here are a few tips:

Ask yourself: “Does this really need to be said or do I just want to say it.”

Vent it out: Get a “buddy” to let off steam to before you tackle a high stakes discussion (or find yourself being quoted in the media!)

Identify hot buttons: Reflect on situations when you’ve blurted something you later regret.  What triggered it?  Become aware of that hot button and monitor your reactions in future situations.

Time out:  In pressure situations, don’t feel the need to respond.  It’s o.k. to ask for a time out so that you can collect your thoughts and clear your emotions.

And, if all else fails, sometimes, it’s better to exercise your mother’s old maxim: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

If you’re interested in learning more about your leadership assets and liabilities, give us a call to learn more about our leadership development and mentoring programs.

Happy leading!

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