Many bosses assume that a leader needs to be removed and tough on employees in order to be effective. They fear that looking “soft” will erode their employees’ motivation and respect for them.
But when it comes to success as a leader, exceptionally tough leadership styles are the exceptions to the rule, as overly tough bosses create stress – and lots of it.
So, what does a “nice” boss look like, and how do you pull this off without being a push over?
They’re strong without being harsh
A lot of leaders mistake domineering and harsh behavior for strength. Strength is something you earn and can’t enforce – only then will people trust that they should follow you.
They’re confident, without being cocky
We gravitate to confident leaders because confidence is contagious. The trick, as a leader, is to make certain your confidence doesn’t slip into arrogance and cockiness.
They stay positive, but remain realistic
Another major challenge that leaders face is finding the balance between keeping things positive and still being realistic.
They’re role models, not preachers
This is about walking the walk, and not just talking the talk. Harping on people all day long about the behavior you want to see has a tiny fraction of the impact you achieve by demonstrating that behavior yourself.
They’re willing to take a bullet for their people
Great leaders don’t try to shift blame, and they don’t avoid shame when they fail. They’re never afraid to say, “The buck stops here,” and they earn people’s trust by backing them up.
They balance work and fun
A kind, balanced leader knows how to motivate and push employees, but also has the wherewithal to slow it down at the appropriate time in order to celebrate results and have fun.
They form personal connections
Kind leaders communicate on a personal level. They never forget that there’s a flesh-and-blood human being standing in front of them.
They deliver feedback flawlessly
Leaders who are kind know how to take into account the feelings and perspectives of their employees while still delivering the message they need to hear in order to improve.
Energy. Enthusiasm. Enterprise