In The Prince, Machiavelli asks the age-old question of leaders: “Is it better to be loved or feared?”
He comes down strongly on the side of fear.
When you give someone something to do, do you wait for results or coach them through the process?
I think Machiavelli was dead wrong.
Feared leaders are more likely to:
- Be attacked when the moment arises
- Be sabotaged when possible
- Be obeyed when they are present and scoffed at when they are not
- Receive half-hearted begrudging support
Loved leaders are more likely to:
- Have people go the extra mile
- Be protected even behind their backs
- Receive buy-in and support even when they are not present
- Receive unwavering commitment
Fear does not build an environment for success. Only failure.
Questions to ask yourself as a leader:
- When someone fails do you encourage and motivate them or remind them that they failed?
- In what ways do you serve your people?