Leadership can be really difficult. An effective leader must negotiate a delicate balance of behaviors and emotions. This quote from entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn captures the challenge of leadership very appropriately.
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”
I often see managers who are so consumed by their power that they have a difficult time tempering their behaviors and maintaining the balance described by Rohn. These managers are strong, but often rude and dictatorial. They are not kind for fear of being characterized as weak. They are so bold that they bully others and “flex their muscles” often. They are not thoughtful or humble because their management is all about them, not their teams. They are arrogant and rarely show a sense of humor.
Notice I call these individuals managers, not leaders. Not many people want to follow these types of managers; and if no one follows you, you can’t be a leader.
Leaders who balance their emotions, as Rohn suggests, gain many followers. Their team members respect their strength and kindness, their boldness and thoughtfulness, their humility and their humor. It is a difficult challenge to find this balance. But the greatest leaders tackle this challenge and create a work environment that is consistent and enlightened. This is the type of environment that allows team members to thrive and organizations to achieve their goals and sustain success.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. – Check out my website at http://www.jvearle.com and keep me in mind if you hear of any opportunities to share my thoughts on leadership.