#leadershiptruth – Go for respect. Not popularity.

Posted November 28, 2017 in Latest News & Insights

One of my earliest bosses once told me that the CFO I was working with was a nice guy but that I shouldn’t ‘learn the ropes’ from him. It’s a common refrain ‘it’s better to be respected than liked’ but let’s face it, most of us equate not being liked to being disliked. And, I think it’s human nature for most people to want to be liked. Instead of trading off being liked for being respected, I think about the fact that you like people who you respect and you can dislike people you don’t respect. Liking someone doesn’t mean that you’re always going to agree with them. There were plenty of leaders who I respected but who’s decisions I didn’t ‘like’ or agree with. But I respected them because they were consistent and transparent. They kept their promises and, if they screwed up, they acknowledged their mistakes. They weren’t into promoting themselves, but rather, they focused on trying to do a better job every day. I may like our Prime Minister because he’s accessible and takes a good selfie, but the only way I’ll respect him is if he delivers on his promises. Likability and popularity plus respect is a dynamic combination for sure, but when in doubt, worry more about gaining respect than popularity. #leadershiptruth

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