They key to being a likable leader is to achieve both the “What” and the “How.”
What – People will like you for achieving success for the company (or team) and the individual.
How – People will like you for setting the strategy for the company to succeed and providing opportunities for the individual to succeed.
What does a likeable leader do?
Success for the company (or team). How do you define success for your company or team? It’s about the results: Sales, Profits, Stabilization of the Community, Growth, Returns, Market-Share…There are many ways to say it, but in the end success for a company is measured by achieving the results that the industry demands. It’s hard to be a likeable leader if you can’t provide a source of income for the people in your company or on your team.
“Effective leadership is not just about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results.” – Peter Drucker
Success for the individual. What about the people that make up any company. Their company or team is doing well, is that enough? The answer is no. By achieving success for the company or team you have provided stability and also a sense of pride in the group. But people are more than just members of a team, they are individuals and individuals have their own dreams and desires. Do you know what the individual dreams and desires are of the people in your company or on your team? If not, how can you hope to help them fulfill that need?
“All successful people are big dreamers. They imagine what their future could be, ideal in every respect, and then they work every day toward their distant vision, that goal or purpose.” – Brian Tracy
How does a likeable leader do it?
Strategy for the company (or team). The leaders job is to decide on the goals that once achieved will bring success. And just as important, the leader picks the path that the whole company or team will take to achieve its goals (including where not to go). No company or team can hope to achieve long term success without a winning strategy.
“Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different…The company without a strategy is willing to try anything.” – Michael Porter
Opportunity for the individual. Leaders must always keep in mind that a company or team is made up of individuals. Your goals and plans may be strategic and energizing, but Monday morning comes and each person in your in your company or on your team has to know what they can do to help achieve the goals while bettering themselves. A company’s or team’s success is the sum of the individual’s successes.
“All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.” – Albert Einstein
Finally, here are a few daily exercises for the likeable leader:
Lighten up your approach
“If you look back on all the teachers that you liked, I am sure you will find they were very entertaining.” – Bill Nye
Look up and see others
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie
Lift up other people
“Basically, likeability comes down to creating positive emotional experiences in others. When you make others feel good, they tend to gravitate to you.” – Tim Sanders