A new book suggests that a very successful CEO, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, used bullying tactics. While that may be in dispute how many bosses take management by objectives to this level? If I had a room of people and I asked the question, "what constitutes an effective leader" I might get as many answers as people in the room. There are many traits that make a successful leader.
I believe that effective leaders and managers do get results working with other people. But there is a difference between a boss and leader. Someone can appoint himself boss because he signs the paycheck or a manager is the boss because he was given that title from above. But just because someone is given a title does not guarantee that he can manage effectively. To be truly effective a manager or leader must make appropriate use of their granted authority and earned power.
This means that appointing yourself or being appointed does not make you effective. You earn the respect for authority from the people you supervise. This does not mean you have to be popular and never make tough decisions. You must do that and move on. One great example of leadership is a quote from Colin Powell, “The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them…” This begs the question; can you bring your problems to a bully? How can you become a results oriented leader without becoming a bully? Here are 7 ways to tell a bully from a true leader.
- A leader leads by example. A bully dominates and intimidates others and says, “do as I say or else.”
- A leader shows interpersonal skills and empathy for others and motivates. A bully lacks empathy for others, ridicules and demotivates others.
- A leader can communicate with all levels and backgrounds and understand their motivations. A bully surrounds himself only with people who acquiesce to him.
- A leader believes in the abilities of his people and knows they will do well. A bully has low expectations of everybody.
- A leader shares information and is transparent. A bully withholds information and uses it as a weapon.
- A leader is assertive when necessary. A bully is aggressive and uses power plays.
- A leader is emotionally mature (high emotional intelligence). A bully is emotionally immature (low emotional intelligence.)
I would like to hear your comments. What do you think about these points? Do you have examples?