The issue of Tough Leadership has been raised on more than one occasion during my client meetings, I must admit this caused some concern initially leaving me wondering exactly their definitions of tough love, fearing references to autocratic Leadership or indeed Psychopathic Leadership!
Having explored this issue, it would seem a trend emerging that Managers at all levels need to develop a strong sense of ‘Tough Leadership’ or ‘Tough Love’, balancing the need to maintain strong relationships whilst also demonstrating high performance expectations from each of their team players. In other word’s setting their expectations higher, maintaining these higher expectations and all without alienating their teams.
Impossible balance you may well say, but consider this, most of us can remember that one school teacher, the one you knew never to cross but the one who listened to reason, the one that you knew you had to hand in your homework to on time and to the quality required. The one you may not have liked but you respected and the one that drew out the best from you. I rest my case that this balance is possible, but I will agree that this is rarely achieved. Now does it have a place in Leadership, most certainly yes, do you not expect this from your Managers at all levels?
When planning the development of your managers, do they truly know how to demonstrate Tough Love? – Can they strike the balance:
- Between being ‘Mean’ and ‘Nice’
- Between being ‘Consistently Fair’ and using their ‘Judgement’
- Excepting the need for both ‘High Expectation’ and ‘High Praise’
- Understanding the true meaning of Honesty and Commitment
- Knowing when to support and when to let their team learn from their mistakes
- Knowing when to face conflict
- Knowing the definition of a true working relationship
Food for thought!