Those who are in business school or any kind of leadership program will likely learn to lead with their minds. It is a constant belief and teaching that leaders should be rational, tough, and strategic. While it is, of course, important to be diplomatic and use your mind, it is also important to use your heart. There isn’t nearly enough emphasis placed upon the idea of leading with your heart. However, research shows that to be a successful leader, one also needs to show empathy and compassion.
It is easy to think that a coercive style of leading will work. After all, it does often garner results in the short-term. But it can mean something very negative long-term for your company. Leading this way creates a dissonance between a leader and his or her employees. This leads to a number of toxic emotions in the workplace, such as anxiety, fear, and anger.
It is common to see people in the workplace cracking under pressure and due to the authoritarian style of leadership. These types of leaders also tend to see their job as a competition or a form of warfare. As a result, these people also talk badly about one another. This is evident in politics as well, as we see many politicians criticizing one another and assassinating each other’s characters.
Ray Williams of Psychology Today recently spoke about how nice people actually can succeed. So many people think that the way to command respect is to be brutally harsh, but the reality is that kindness does pay off. Some people say “I don’t like him, but I respect him,” but this expression does not have much truth in relation to long-term success. Steve Jobs, for example, is celebrated by many as a visionary. But it has been stated that he was also a tyrant at times. He often went into fits of rage and took credit for other people’s ideas. He was a brilliant man, but he wasn’t always a very nice one.
Eddie Dovner is an entrepreneur, inventor, and CEO who is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. Learn more about Eddie Dovner by visiting his pages on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. Also, please learn more by visiting EdwardDovner.org and EddieDovner.com.