Loose canons

Every culture has its definition of what effective leadership is. The ability to communicate criticism in a constructive and discreet manner is one of the most important skills required. Discretion, being a discreet person, handling sensitive issues discreetly, is essential not only to leading high performing teams, but for attracting and retaining high performing individuals.

Managers who are indiscreet, who voice their criticism of individual team members in the presence of others – colleagues, suppliers, customers – are considered to have poor interpersonal skills, to be negative, destructive, even mean spirited.

Americans refer to them as „loose cannons“ or as „time bombs.“ People do their best to avoid them. And talented team players do their best to find another, a better position within the company, or if necessary outside.

Indiscretion is a danger in the American business context. It is demotivating. It scares off talent.