Pleasing people is NOT the same as leading people. We all want to be liked, we all want affirmation. Effective leaders need to be able to challenge people, to respectfully confront them when the need arises. Leaders must have the courage, the grit to have difficult conversations. None of this is necessarily conducive to being liked. Respected, yes. Admired, yes. Liked? Not always.
Leaders MUST have the personality strength to subjugate the need to be liked to the demands of leadership. It requires a strong core, a good sense of self. Strong leaders hold people accountable. Weak “leaders” delude themselves by telling themselves that they are being nice, that they don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. In reality, they are afraid, afraid of confrontation, afraid of facing reality. Instead, they take the easy way out by kicking the can down the road yet gain, by giving someone their 10th 2nd chance. As a result, everyone stagnates, no one grows and eventually an organization with real leaders comes along and knocks them for a loop.
An unwillingness to confront substandard performance coupled with a failure to invest the time and energy necessary to develop the skillset of having difficult conversations and giving effective feedback is the #1 weakness I see in would-be leaders.
“If you try to please all, you please none.” – Aesop
“If you live for people’s acceptance, you will die from their rejection.” – Lecrae
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier