First things first: focusing on whether or not your direct reports like you is a losing game. If you succeed, you may have squandered true leadership for temporary validation; if you fail, well, you could turn into Michael Scott.
Being liked is less important than being respected. At the end of the day, it’s not your team’s job to make you feel like an awesome person – it’s your job to help them achieve goals (the company’s and their own).
That said, being likeable is different than being liked. Likeable people don’t curry favor or try to win the office popularity contest; they exude charisma and inspire faith. In short, they’re natural leaders. If you’re not quite there yet, this week’s lead story should help. Also in our roundup: how to find your career fit and how to boost your performance with rituals.
“Not all leaders are trusted, liked and admired; these qualities need to be earned,” Johnson writes. “Likeable leaders earn the trust of their employees through their actions as well as their words. They don’t make promises that they never intend to keep to placate their employees. Instead they follow through with everything they commit to doing, and they aim to be honest rather than charming.”
In short, they have integrity. Find out what other habits likeable leaders cultivate, in this piece.
David Harwell and Nathaniel Janick at EOS: Four Steps to Finding Your Career Fit
“Just as there are many kinds of outfits, there are many career options, but they won’t all fit you equally well. To find your ideal fit, cut from the same cloth as a personal stylist,” Harwell and Janick write. “First, you’ll need to work with what you’ve got—what are your skills? Next, find your style—what factors drive you? Finally, take stock of what’s in store—what jobs are available? You’ll find your best fit where these three factors meet.”
Finding two of the three factors will keep you going for a while, they write, but for long-term career happiness, strive for all three. To find the career that’s at the perfect intersection of these factors, try these four steps.
David Kahn at Leader Says What: How to Boost Your Performance Through Rituals With James Lipton
“How do you prepare yourself for a new activity?” Kahn writes. “I didn’t put too much thought into this until I was at a conference a few years ago. I can’t remember the topic but I distinctly recall standing at a urinal when a guy walked into the bathroom and shouted at the mirror, ‘You are Lizard King! You can do anything!’ He then left as quickly as he had appeared.”
You guessed it: The Lizard King turned out to be the keynote speaker. The purpose of his odd ritual? To center himself before addressing a crowd.
Compared to that, James Lipton’s note cards look positively mundane, but they serve a similar function: they’re a ritual that helps him prepare to give his best performance. Maybe note cards or bathroom yelling can help you, too. Learn more, here.
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