Leadership Traits of Favorite Bosses and Teachers

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We all want to be liked by others. But when you’re in a leadership role, focusing on being liked by your team can cause disastrous results.

Think back to your favorite teacher in high school or college. At first, you might think of the teacher who was the easiest on you. But when you really consider it, you’ll likely think of the teacher who took an extra interest in you and commented on your abilities and your potential. They probably offered words of encouragement or perhaps challenged you to step it up a little bit and increase your grades and performance.

Now think of your favorite boss. Again, it might be tempting to think of the manager who set low expectations, was overly easygoing, and let you do whatever you wanted. Really, it was likely the manager who took a personal interest in you, your abilities and your potential; they might have provided challenges, given you opportunities to grow, and then offered up corrections or maybe a kick in the pants when you needed to step it up a little bit. And they also likely offered you praise and encouragement.

What do your favorite teacher and favorite boss have in common?

Two things:

  1. They both offered encouragement and praise and saw potential in you.
  2. They both challenged you in your growth.

Do you want to be the leader who is so easygoing the team doesn’t feel challenged and may even lack respect for you, or do you want to be the leader who has high expectations, and encourages their people to live up to those expectations?

Being respected can lead to being liked, but focusing on being liked can take away from being respected. Share on X

So, take the time to reflect on your own leadership style and course correct, if needed.

What’s another attribute you appreciate about your favorite manager?

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