Think on this: People whine when they don’t have control. Dissatisfaction starts happening within our teams when someone thinks they can do the job better than we can.
You might be thinking you’re the boss because you worked hard to get where you are. And that’s probably true.
But you’re also the boss because somebody got out of your way and let you lead.
Workplace dynamics expert Bob Sutton says, “Sometimes the best management is no management at all — first do no harm!”
So what if you let a whiner lead?
What if the biggest whiner on your team was forced to take accountability, to own a step or a process that could result in failure, with the trade-off of having control and getting to lead? Knowing that your whiner owned the failure, would they stick their neck out?
If a whiner is given the opportunity to lead and doesn’t step up, guess what? They’ve lost their right to whine. And you’ve earned the right to tell them so.