When speaking with many Managers and Leaders over the years, it is clear to me that many seem to have the mindset of “be feared or be liked”. You may ask yourself which one is better… Many of you probably already know the answer based on your beliefs or ethics. If you are just the “liked” type I believe it is safe to say that you can be seen to be “weak” and not everybody can take you “seriously”, if you are the “feared” type then often you can be “unapproachable” and “strict” by character. I think majority will tend to agree re this “culture”, however I am pleased to say that majority are WRONG!
Things are never black or white… I have listed below some key areas that “black or white” leaders will view.
A real leader will choose respect over being feared or liked any day of the week. If a leader states that they’d prefer be feared or liked, its because they are narrow minded and is clearly not leader material. This is the biggest “belief” of those weak leaders.
Lack of Communication
Those weak leaders tend to “mumble” or close conversations down when it isn’t going their way. Strong leaders will provide the full picture of a scenario whether this be good or bad, to ensure everyone is on the same page, but also because they value the thoughts, opinions and guidance of their team.
Weak leaders also tend to avoid “difficult” conversations, which makes them unapproachable and dismissive.
Lack of Trust
You will most always find that weak leaders do not trust people, and this all comes from the loyalty they build within their team. The leaders that tend to go for being “liked” is often because they fear losing their teams, therefore they create the false illusion of loyalty.
How many times has somebody been off sick in your office, and the leader has made an untrusted comment? We all have right? This is lack of trust that the person in question is genuinely off with sickness.
Strong leaders are authentic and vulnerable with their employees, which means the employees are more than likely to reciprocate and gain trust.
Lack of Emotional Control
This part can go two ways; what the weak leaders see in their teams depending on the emotion they show, or the emotion the weak leaders show when having open conversations.
If an employee sits down and shows emotion, lets say by tears, the weak leader will automatically label this “weak”, however a strong leader would see “passion”, “belief”, or even “standards”. If an employee shows their emotion through anger, the weak leader labels this as “problematic”, however a strong leader will also believe that this is another way of showing “passion”.
Should a weak leader be having a debate with his colleagues and/or teams, instead of interacting they often become “defensive” and drive the conversation to anger. A strong leader will maintain the conversation, listen to each points and discuss and debate but calmly.
When the time comes to make a decision, a weak leader tends to irrationally just “pluck” an answer from thin air, or sit on the proposal for a longer timeframe. Once decisions have been made, they often fail to be announced to the firm, and this can cause confusion.
A strong leader will discuss all areas, approach the team members to gather thoughts and always be transparent with all facts. The decisions tend to be followed through, and successful.
A weak leader finds it extremely hard to accept errors. Whether this be an error made by themselves or an error made by a team member. Its simply unacceptable in their minds. This takes us back to being narrow-minded. A weak leader that is just “liked” will not want to accept in order to not let his team down, a weak leader that is “feared” often has a low self-esteem and therefore finds it extremely difficult to accept the error.
If a team member made a mistake, a weak leader tends to view this as “unacceptable” due to all of the above; lack of trust, the need to be “feared”, lack of emotional control, etc.
Weak leaders do not show any interest in each individuals career, job progression, etc. After all, they should be grateful they even have a job and get paid, right?
Strong leaders support each individual within the company, they show interest, they look into the future and ensure each employee is doing what they enjoy. They learn the motivation of each individual to ensure that they get the most out of each team member.
Has somebody had a promotion? Strong leaders announce this publicly, they recognise and praise people in public – it creates an extremely positive vibe!
The results on this section are super clear… if you treat your staff well, your staff will treat your company and their clients EXTREMELY well.
We all know that people do not buy the logo, they buy management, and that people leave the managers and not the company!
The single biggest decision you make in your job—bigger than all the rest—is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits—nothing.
Make sure in 2018 you are being the leader you want to be, or you are working for the leader you believe and trust in.
The biggest mistake people make is that they work for people that do not inspire them. I believe that most people that succeed is because they have inspiration, growth and development – re-evaluate your situation, and do not be scared to have a conversation or make a decision!
For more information on Leadership, view my recent blog “The 5 Most Important Reasons Why Great Leadership Is Vital”
Blog published by Mike Coady.