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What kind of leader are you? Really?

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Mean leader – What kind of leader are you?

What kind of leader are you?

I came across this quote the other day that I found to be quite clever.

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. ~Oscar Wilde

What kind of leader are you? Is it even possible to be a leader if people are happy when you leave? It might be difficult to be effective if people are happy to see you go.

I saw a great example of this years ago with two of my oldest boys who were playing high school sports. One had a basketball coach that led by fear and the other had a football coach who led with love. The difference in the two coaches was remarkable. I found that in the case of the basketball coach the boys on that team would only perform to the level that they wouldn’t get yelled at. In the case of the football coach the boys on that team would pull more out of themselves than they realized they had. They knew that coach cared about them and they would believe everything he said. They wanted to do their absolute best for him. And though they were small compared to other teams they continually won every year.

So, it is my belief that it is difficult to be as effective as a leader if people are happy to see you leave. What are your thoughts? Do you agree?

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Leave a Comment

  • Steven Miscandlon May 25, 2011, 7:47 am

    Some people enjoy wielding power over others, in a negative way. It’s a trait that’s all too apparent in managers, sports coaches and teachers.
    Those of us who have been lucky enough to have had a manager or leader whom we can like and respect know only too well the difference that can make to your level of motivation.
    That’s not to say there isn’t a time to get tough … but that’s a far cry from the need to instil fear in others. At its worst, such behaviour is no better than bullying (and I’ve witnessed plenty of that in my time too). All it does is breed resentment and, as you’ve pointed out, that’s hardly the way to get the best from your team.

  • Deb Hunt May 28, 2011, 9:20 pm

    Great story about your sons’ coaches. As a manager, no make that leader, I always found that the old adage “they don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care” is true. Being a leader can be challenging due to the need to walk the fine line between being a leader and a friend. What I’ve found that those I lead want to know I have the organization’s and their best interests at heart. Then they are willing to follow, though at times there may need to be some discussions to get to “yes”.

  • Mike Rogers June 4, 2011, 8:27 am

    Thanks for your comments both Steven and Deb. Right on the mark! It’s said a lot, but is true, they really don’t care how much you know till they know how much you care. Leading by fear is not a good tactic and my experience has been that those who do so have some real fears themselves about their own ability. And this is clearer to those they lead than they think.


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