If you’ve ever had the boss who has said,
“My way or the highway!”
“…because I said so!”
“That’s just the way it is,” and
“Get it done yesterday – I don’t care how!”
you may be hesitant to come across like a demanding jerk to your employees.
Jim Collins in his description of a Level V Leader says that level of leadership is attained by a humble yet passionate leader.
So, when do you get tough and lay it on the line, even to the point of saying, “That’s just how it is!” to your employees?
You know you’re being a jerk when…
- There is a self-serving motive behind your rant like ego preservation, desire to win/they lose, or desire to intimidate.
- You do not take the time to let them speak
- You honestly don’t care what they think and don’t feel like they can contribute despite their subject matter expertise.
You know you are being a passionate leader when…
- You listen curiously and with genuine interest to what they are saying, combining empathy with high standards in your head.
- Your blood pressure starts to rise because they have/or continue to do something hurtful to accomplishing the company vision/mission/goals.
- You respond carefully and choose your words to avoid being hurtful AND present the mission/vision component with passion because that is the reason why their behavior is a problem.
You can get excited and passionate about your core values, vision, mission and goals.
You cannot scream and yell because someone made you mad and has frustrated you.
You can get determined and definite when what an employee did interfered with overall accomplishment of goals or the way you want your company to operate.
You cannot get miffed, sarcastic and rude because someone kept you personally from meeting your goal.
The mission, vision and core values of an organization are its backbone – the reason it exists and how business will be conducted. This backbone is something to get excited about and no one will fault you if you get passionate and determined about it, as long as you treat them respectfully (no yelling, swearing, sarcasm, personal attacks or demeaning comments). You may even appear egotistical if you are personally very invested in the core values and vision. But a drive towards an admirable vision is always about more than just your desire to accomplish it, and that will come through to your team.