Releasing The Need to Be Liked and Still Be a Successful Leader
As a leader, your goal is not to be liked but to be able to ensure that the vision is being held and implemented. Leadership is not and should not be a popularity contest. Although being likeable is certainly helpful, issues arise when a leader values more the fact of being liked to a certain extent that results to making poor decisions.
Needing to be liked is common, especially if we feel ‘lonely at the top’ - it’s a natural instinct to want to create ‘allies’. When you ‘friend-zone’ yourself in this way, it’s even more challenging to inspire productivity and innovation, because you won’t be taken seriously.
Your team doesn’t need yet another friend….they need a leader. Someone who models strength, integrity, curiosity, inclusion and vision.
What leaders need is to be effective, seen as credible, respected, and must be seen as a good role model that can fully demonstrate professional commitment, honesty and other positive traits that will empower every member of their team. This way, even when you are placed in a position of having to communicate tough decisions or constructive feedback, you’ll have their respect even if the news you’ve delivered is not popular.
When you have no confidence in running a motivated team regardless of your function in the organization, it is a sign that leadership training would be helpful to uplevel your confidence.
Sometimes when you have been doing the same function for years in a row, it just drains out the determination in you to pursue it or to shift how you’re doing things. This mindset not only affects your professional growth but the organization in general. When you are not performing optimally as a leader, it can be costly to the company. It is also costly to your health to be in a holding pattern of doubt, worry, lack of confidence, overcompensating, and more.
It is a lot easier to lead when you feel vibrant, supported and confident.
Coach’s tip: find other peers internally and externally that you can bounce ideas off of and mitigate feeling lonely at the top. They speak your language and support you in holding your own in your leadership role.
Share your insights below - have you fallen into the “need to be liked” trap? If so, how did you shift this?
To your success,