November 11, 2011

Leadership: Is It Better to Be Liked or Feared?

You’ve seen images of professional sports coaches screaming at slumped-over teams in locker rooms. Cut to the corporate boardroom, where you see a "terrible two†tantrum thrust upon employees.

Maybe you’ve experienced a mild case of power-mongering yourself, briefly believing that fear-based motivation would get things done. Then, feeling a bit remorseful, you did a 180 to overcompensate by offering an elaborate employee-appreciation breakfast, complete with chocolate croissants. A week later, you feel you’ve been taken advantage of, work is too relaxed, and you’re losing support. Now you’re questioning those French pastries. This yo-yoing between being a power player and a pushover-pleaser makes your perplexed staff wonder if you’ve fallen victim to pathological mood swings.

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