Should leaders exhibit support or challenge to be the best leader they can be?
Here are two real stories:
- The team leader is really nice…maybe too nice? This leader wants to keep peace. Instead of speaking clear and straight, this leader is hinting at his/her thoughts. The result: no one really knows what the leader thinks, and the team struggles to make progress.
- The other team leader is hard. Is this leader always angry? If a team member speaks or acts out of turn the reaction is swift, harsh, and quickly points out what went wrong.
Again, we ask the question: which leader is best?
What if the answer is…both?
The 1st leader defaults to offering support, this culture of entitlement and mistrust breeds out of whomever the last person is in the leader’s ear.
The protecting leader is very supportive of everyone, so everyone’s opinion is right (in their mind).
On the flip side, the 2nd leader defaults to only offering challenge. This leader creates a culture of fear and manipulation.
The dominating leader believes they always know best. Everyone falls in line, lest they become the next victim of the leader’s outrage.
What if the best leader exhibits both?
These rare species of leaders choose to fight for the highest possible good of those they lead.
Are you wrong for being a protector or a dominator? No!
Human nature pushes us toward one or the other.
If you want to be a liberating leader, you must make a conscious choice toward liberation.
If you choose this path, your team and those in each circle of influence will thank you every day. You will draw out the best in those you lead, and set them free toward expressing and utilizing their natural born instincts.
What path will you choose today?