Hard Nosed, or Soft Touch – You can be a bit of both!

24 07 2015

“The megalomaniac differs from the narcissist by the fact that he wishes to be powerful rather than charming, and seeks to be feared rather than loved.  To this type belong many lunatics – and most of the great men in history.” ~Bertrand Russell

Some leaders want to be loved beyond all else.  They want their team to look at them, and say “That is a great man – I love working for him”.  They try so hard to be nice, that they allow things to slip that cost the company money, time, or reputation.  Poor performing individuals are employed longer than they should be, because narcissistic Leader A wants to be the good guy.  Then there’s Leader B: the hard-“nosed” leader.  They are blunt, they call out under-performers, they’re NOT popular with the people on the bottom half of the performance bell curve (maybe even hated).  It may be that the top half of the bell curve has a gruding respect, or even admiration for the push that they get from their megalomanical leader.  Deep down, Leader B don’t really care, because it’s a job, the and job DOES tend to get done under his “iron fist”, despite the casualties.  Maybe they’re a lunatic, maybe they’re a great man in history – down the road, history will tell.

I just illustrated 2 extreme points of the leadership bell curve.  Today’s leadership parable leaves it up to you to decide where on that curve you want to place yourself.  Maybe you’re leade A one day, and leader B another.  When can you cut someone a break, and when do you have to tell them that enough is enough?  We all take some leadership traits from leaders we meet, and leave those that are unpalatable to our own sensibilities.  Bottom line – build your own leadership tool box and find your own zone, because you need to be comfortable in your own skin, and look in the mirror at the end of every day, leader!

Speaking of narcissitic…


Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com




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