For two decades I was a horrible boss.
Most of the people who worked for me wouldn’t say that. Most of them liked me. I was popular, friendly, transparent, empowering, supportive.
So what was the problem?
I was non-confrontational. I didn’t give tough feedback. I let problems linger.
I didn’t figure it out until I was in my 40’s but it was because I needed to be liked by everyone.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s OK to WANT to be liked. The problem is when we NEED to be liked…by EVERYONE.
My need to have everyone like me was coming from own needs for external validation. It’s why so many high achievers actually have low self-worth. They are trying to get a feeling of worthiness by having the outside world tell them they are worthy.
The problem is: to compare is to despair. There is always someone richer, someone with more awards, someone with better abs.
Your team doesn’t need another friend; they need a leader. Someone who can give them TOUGH feedback, from a place of caring. That’s how they’ll get better.
Today, my self-worth is tied to: acting on my my values, having the RIGHT people like me (my kids), making an impact.
Be likeable at work, but don’t care about actually being liked. And give the gift of honest feedback.