This week we continue the serialization of, How (Not) to Be a Leader Volume 1, in preparation for the release of the next two books, How (NOT) to Build a Great Team and How (NOT) to Create a Winning Strategy. We hope you will enjoy Chapter 13 – Be Loved.
Sent: Tuesday, June 1 at 9:00 pm
To: All Staff
Subject: Summer Picnic at MY HOUSE!
In thinking about what we could do this summer to have some fun together, I wanted to suggest that we have a summer picnic at my house on Wednesday the 23rd. I know it’s the middle of the week but you all totally deserve a break! Of course, it will be a paid day, and I know production will have to stop for a day, but we can make it up by the end of the month don’t ya think?! You guys should definitely invite your spouses and SO’s! And kids too! I rented a giant bouncy house that they are just going to love. Let’s not do a potluck, that’s way too much work for you, I’ll have it catered. I know I’ve been going on about our numbers being down, but you deserve it and I think it would be great for us all to throw back some beers and have a BBQ, and there are so many families I’ve never met and I really want to.
So, let me know what you guys think! I’ll send out a calendar invite later today and a map. If anyone needs a ride let me know, my house is about an hour from the office but I’m happy to come into town and pick a few people up. This is going to be so much fun! Should we get T‑shirts??
Let’s face it, we all need a little lovin’ and leaders need more of it than most. Your job is stressful, you’re faced with tough decisions, and you work harder than anyone, so you deserve to be showered with love and adoration. It’s owed to you, so rake it up every chance you get. More often than not, the most superb leaders are forced to completely ignore their home and family life, which (while a sacrifice well worth making for the money) can result in a lack of love and admiration from spouses and children that must be made up for in some way. And there’s no better place to turn than your work family in times like these.
Some methods for ensuring that you receive the love and adoration you so richly deserve and need are:
- Make sure that you are the head cheerleader and that everyone is having fun all the time. Give all of your people parties, picnics, team‑building events, morale‑building events, days off, snow days, perks, benefits, bonuses, raises, trophies, plaques, kudos, and hugs every day. Make your company the party bus that everyone wants to ride! These things are the hallmark of great leadership. The more you give, the more they take, and the more they love you.
- Make sure you construct your org chart so you can completely avoid delivering negative feedback to anyone. Being negative is not your job. Make it someone else’s job to be despised and resented because you need your people’s positive energy for your own personal stamina. Leadership can really suck it out of you, so you gotta fill it back up with someone else’s energy from time to time.
- Don’t exempt yourself from kudos and awards and the recognition you deserve; rather, guilt your people into giving you those things by playing the martyr card! Draw as much attention to yourself as possible by airing your personal problems, complaining, and feigning being overworked.
Let’s Get Real
Great leaders don’t need to be loved, they need to be liked and respected. Let’s break this down with some definitions to make sure we’re all on the same page.
Loving = Caring: Love is a complex word and a multidimensional emotion. In a broad sense, it is not traditionally used in describing professional matters. But one aspect of love that should be used in business is the aspect that means care. When leaders don’t care for or about the people they work with, it shows. When employees don’t care about the actual people who are their leaders, when they see a company’s leadership simply as corporate or the top brass or the powers that be, it shows and has a direct and negative impact on company culture. A bidirectional sense of genuine caring leads to productivity, job satisfaction, retention, and for leaders, an enormous sense of purpose and reward. But some leaders need to be loved for a more self‑serving purpose: as validation to bolster their self‑esteem. An ongoing effort or campaign to be loved by your employees inhibits your ability to make decisions and limits your ability to remain objective and fair. If the caring aspect of love is in play, your most difficult decisions will be respected, your employees will be more motivated follow your guidance and help you when you need it, and your culture will flourish.
Admired = Respected: Let’s not confuse adoration with admiration. You do not need to be adored by those you lead, but you should be admired. Admiration is born out of a sense of respect, and when you are respected, you are appreciated. Being appreciated as a leader is validating and an excellent boost for your self-esteem. Separating this from adoration ensures that you fulfill the need but maintain the space necessary to make good decisions and remain objective. But this is also a bidirectional imperative: ask yourself if you respect and admire the people you lead. If you don’t, there is a systemic problem with your culture (or with you) that needs to be resolved swiftly. Because if you don’t respect them, they definitely don’t feel appreciated.