Can a leader be highly effective (increase productivity, profitability, service/quality levels, boost safety, etc.) without being liked? Less effective leaders often think so. They might declare “it’s not a popularity contest, I don’t care if people like me; my job is to get results.”
Unlikable leaders get results alright — poor and unlikable results. Zenger Folkman’s study of 360 assessments on over 50,000 leaders showed that the most likable leaders, who also demanded high standards, strength goals, and continual improvement, produced results almost 9 times higher than the most unlikable leaders.
So what does it take to become a more likable — and more effective — leader? Zenger Folkman looked at 360 assessment data from more than 51,000 leaders to identify seven key actions that substantially increase likability scores:
- Increase positive emotional connections with others.
- Display rock solid integrity.
- Cooperate with others.
- Be a coach, mentor and teacher.
- Be an inspiration.
- Be visionary and future focused.
- Ask for feedback and make an effort to change.
Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman presented the webinar, The Unlikable Leader: 7 Ways to Improve Employee/Boss Relationships with practical developmental suggestions for each of the seven key actions. You’ll also learn:
- The characteristics of an unlikable boss
- Can you be an effective leader if you’re unlikable?
- Why being unlikable thwarts a leader’s effectiveness
- How likability impacts employee engagement
- Whether men/women and supervisors/senior managers are more likable
- Do we become more likable as we age?
Contrary to what some leaders believe, it’s nearly impossible to become an outstanding leader without being likable. Less likable (and less effective) leaders won’t like to hear that.