Does It Pay To Lead Like a Jerk?

Interesting news circulating around the leadership performance of Goldman Sachs CEO, David Solomon. A New York magazine ran the latest story on the leadership travails of Solomon on August 11, 2023 https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/david-solomon-goldman-sachs-profile.html

A few thoughts for all leaders to consider:

No matter how technically or tactically gifted a leader is in their sector or industry, they still must have the emotional intelligence to build a strong team around them. If all it took was one strong man or woman then teams would not be necessary.

Leaders must be approachable. It does not mean that every leader must be a gifted conversationalist. However, it does mean that leaders should not create an atmosphere whereby followers are afraid to engage the leader.

One of the most important attributes of a good leader is the ability to communicate. And good communicators are good listeners. A great technique to cultivate trust is to listen first and speak second.

Leaders must treat those they lead with dignity and respect. The leader should give the same courtesy to all their stakeholders including vendors, customers, and all others.  It means being situationally aware and not making lewd or off-color remarks trying to be funny. It means being sensitive to the diversity of the ones around you. Treating people with dignity and respect does not mean you cannot hold people accountable for not adhering to standards, but you can correct and counsel people by doing it in private and being respectfully direct. A leader can even fire a follower in a dignified and respectful way.

Former Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski once said that character has nothing to do with winning basketball games, but it has everything to do with winning championships. I believe this speaks to caustic leaders. Even bullying leaders could win for a time. But to be a champion and have long-term success you must be a character-based, servant-leader.

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. — Proverbs 11:25

About John Gronski

Major General John L. Gronski (U.S. Army Retired) is the founder and CEO of Leader Grove LLC, a leadership consulting firm. John is the author of two books, “Iron-Sharpened Leadership” and “The Ride of Our Lives” and he is an international and Fortune 500 speaker.

A decorated combat Veteran, infantryman, and Ranger School graduate, John is a transformational leader and has significant experience in business as a management consultant, where he led teams implementing large, complex projects. He now serves as a speaker, leadership consultant, and trainer.

Have John Gronski come to your organization as a keynote speaker or to conduct a leadership workshop.

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