You will know one for sure. The likeable leader is the one you call ‘lovely’. The leader who goes out of their way to be nice, to accommodate as many needs of their staff as possible, who consults the team on decisions – all of them. The likeable leader generally tolerates poor behaviour and makes excuses for people. They are the one you say is great….BUT!
Unfortunately, the likeable leader is everywhere. These people are driven by the need to be liked and are more often than not scared of confrontation. They may be aware they are driven by this need, or they may be oblivious to it. Either way, the likeable leader experiences immense frustration and regular disappointment which most will say they don’t deserve, but fact is they do. They are much more likely to experience negative business results too. The ‘nice’ leader does not get the business success!
We all like to be liked and this is one of the biggest transitions in mindsets for leaders stepping up from management roles or entrepreneurs graduating to leadership. As a leader, you will be required to demonstrate leadership. This means making the hard decision, doing what’s best for the business, holding people accountable and driving performance. It doesn’t mean that you have to turn into a ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ (that is no reference to my leadership!) but it certainly means that you are not necessarily going to be liked by all anymore. There is a reason you are in a position of leadership and that is to drive results.
As a leader, the priority should be respect. This brings a whole new dimension to leadership and the outcomes created. To be respected for critical thinking, decision-making, passion, providing boundaries and keeping people accountable. To be respected for your exceptional communication and for cultivating a culture of creativity and innovation. To be respected for your integrity. Respect is such a powerful and courageous word and this is something leaders should be striving for.
As a leader, define what you stand for, be sure of your values, the purpose and direction of your business and operate accordingly. Communicate with conviction and clarity and inspire people towards a common goal. You can deliver a strong message in an empowering and consultative way. Be passionate and keep people accountable to their performance. That is what people are looking for from a leader today. And they will respect you accordingly, rather than simply respecting your title.