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Leaders, does it pay to be liked?

Updated: Oct 18


Nice leaders don’t have to finish last. In fact niceness or like-ability can and does win and is far from being ineffective or merely seen as a soft approach to leading.


It was during COVID, and after having (and still) endured living and working in the most locked down city in the world, that I noticed a shift in the team's ability to navigate the uncertainty the pandemic was casting our world into, when I realised a shift in my leadership was necessary.


With so many challenges being faced by everyone, and whilst I am already an empathetic leader, it was urgent and critical that I cultivate a style where empathy excelled and came first. As a result, I noticed a shift in my own mindset and language which took me to a more nurturing, creative and collaborative mode, less focused on inputs and KPIs which was my autopilot, and an unproductive conversation in a COVID world.


I found myself naturally moving away from the day to day hustle of meeting targets and moving towards designing new strategies and goals; a collaborative road map where the team collectively contributed. Becoming a wayfinder and holding space for potential rather than simply exercising control, and doubling down lent itself to building trust and team resilience. This shift translated into outcomes and results well beyond market, and indeed my own, expectations.


We were ‘in flow’.

Leadership is not just about being in charge, calculated, data driven, unemotional and holding all the power. It's about connecting with employees on an emotional level and leading with empathy, trust and kindness to generate positive outcomes. COVID has resulted in a new style of leadership emerging.


What got us here, won't get us to the future.

As leaders we need to evolve and be guided more so by our intuition, sensing the field to tailor our approach, and not just relying on the data. PeopleQ leadership programs explore the traits that make you more likeable as a leader and how these traits translates into an improved bottom line.


PeopleQ co-authors Curated Conversations, a safe and courageous space for leaders to explore the capabilities needed to lead in the fourth industrial revolution, and many of our leadership programs support leaders to build these skills.


Find out more about our programs here.


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