Ultimately, being nice as a leader is selfish. It serves your ego. The team is looking to you to help them achieve a goal.
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Or even better, we can seek to be nice and honest, nice and rigorous, nice and consistent. One of my favorite books, Crucial Conversations , discusses how being nice and being honest are not mutually exclusive. You can be both.
The best leaders embrace this duality. My mission in life is to help people become happier at work. Say hi to me on Twitter at clairejlew. I do believe that some people are born leaders and learn throughout life to become better leaders. When I made the transition from valuing myself to valuing my people, I was transformed as a leader.
My mentor John Maxwell, in his book "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect " writes , " When we learn to turn our focus from ourselves to others, the whole world opens up to us. Your focus should be on developing them, helping them succeed, and watching them grow into the people they want to become. When your people are successful, it is a reflection on you as a leader.
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Work hard on your people. They are your biggest asset. Without them, your team can fail. It is critical as a leader to give your people credit and recognition for the incredible things they do. One of the reasons people leave a job is because they feel underappreciated. A leader should never take the credit for the work that their people do. A good leader is a generous leader who recognizes people. Work recognition into the culture of your team.
Make a conscious effort to call out your top producers in a recurring meeting. When others see a coworker being recognized, it infuses motivation into your team.
Everyone will work harder to be the next person whose hard work is recognized. Sure, you may know their names and their positions and what they are working on, but do you really know them?
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Do they have children? Patton was a general, which is in fact one of the most important positions of leadership there is. He was responsible for the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers during WWII. If his leadership faltered, more than just a project was at risk.
He understood that once you have assembled a crack team of experts and provided the right tools for the job , just give them goals and let them get there. Walmart founder Sam Walton built an empire on having the products people wanted, at a price they could afford. But he also knew that customer service was just as important as the low prices.
Like the Walmart greeters who say hello as you walk into the store, the right attitude is how one polishes rather than tarnishes their brand.
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Inventor, engineer and head of research at General Motors for decades, Kettering was responsible for innovations such as the electrical starting motor and leaded gasoline. The gist of it is that you should never give up. Sara Blakely founded the shapewear company Spanx.
In fact, it could be good. You can discover new solutions others never thought of because they were too wedded to doing things a certain way. She understands that perfection is a quixotic quest. They follow authentic leaders who inspire, and inspiration is something contagious, not unattainable. You might not expect the man who came up with Mickey Mouse and the happiest place on earth to choose such violent imagery.
Sometimes you must make decisions that not everyone will like, whether those people are on your team or the stakeholders you report to. Eleanor Roosevelt was more than a First Lady, she led many good initiatives in her time in the White House and after. This quote is another way to saying that you should lead by example.
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While most managers are not likely to face the moral and ethical issues that Martin Luther King, Jr. But like most good jokes it makes you think, which is serious business. Basically, what the comedian is saying is that arrogance has no place in leadership.
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