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.

What Attribute Do You Look For in a Leader?

What attributes do you look for in a leader? I asked this question of a group of aspiring leaders I recently spoke to and here are the top five attributes this group said they look for in their leaders. Call it like it is. Provide direct communication and feedback....

What Good Leaders Do

Millions of Americans watched the women's NCAA Final Four basketball game between UConn and Iowa on Friday, April 5, 2024. With seconds on the clock and UConn behind by one point and making a run at going ahead with a game-winning bucket, a referee stopped the game...

Civilianizing Mission Command

The Army does a great job of training leaders who are both competent and display character. To be effective, leaders must demonstrate both. General Norman Schwarzkopf made this crystal clear when he spoke to the corps of cadets at West Point on May 1, 1991. One of the...

Leadership Must Practice Peopleship

I believe Admiral McRaven was spot on when he wrote something to the effect that leading well is simple, but it is still not easy. The reason leadership is simple but not easy is because leadership involves the human dynamic. Leadership is about people. The principles...

Does Leadership Really Make a Difference?

Recently I was in Indianapolis speaking at a business conference. I stayed at the Marriott in the downtown area. I never stayed in a more friendly hotel. Everyone who worked there was extremely courteous and helpful, and I immediately felt at home. I asked myself why...

Iron-Sharpened Leadership with IHLA

Had a wonderful time presenting "Iron-Sharpened Leadership" to the many business owners and executives who attended the Indiana Hardwood Lumbermen's Association conference in Indianapolis. These incredible leaders came away with several important leadership takeaways...

Training Leaders at NIA

I am very thankful I have the opportunity to conduct Iron-Sharpened Leadership workshops and keynotes across the country and at times across the world. Just last week I had the opportunity to conduct a two-day Iron-Sharpened Leadership and Resiliency workshop with my...

Why Every Leader Should Value Community

Article written by guest blogger Rosette Jonesse Running a business is no easy feat, and leaders face a lot of pressure to ensure its success. Leaders often hear sayings like “It’s lonely at the top” which makes business challenges seem isolating and insurmountable....

The Art of Connection

Connection and belonging. Those feelings are the sauce that creates highly successful groups. If you are the person responsible for cooking up a successful culture that permeates your organization, are you mixing in that secret sauce? When leaders take the time to...

Leadership P O W E R

Leaders have the power to change people’s lives for the good, and unfortunately for the bad, depending upon how they decide to lead. Leaders must serve others to make the most of Leadership Power. P - The first element of leadership power is purpose. Create a shared...
Share This