Monday, October 16, 2006

LEADERSHIP -- That's What Friends Are For

Today is "National Boss Day," so I thought I'd toss out a little out-of-the-box question for your management types out there. Is it OK for the boss to be a buddy, too?

You've heard the warnings before--"Maintain a professional distance so friendship doesn't cloud your judgment." Which sounds good in theory...but too many managers take it to the extreme, and studies show that most people think their boss is the person they'd least like to spend time with. So is there a happy medium?

Yes. John Maxwell says it best: "The best leaders are the ones who forge personal ties with their team and interact with each member in light of their specific preferences and desires. Employees respond to the care they receive from a boss. When treated with human dignity and kindness they gain energy and positive emotion, but when treated like a pawn of corporate production, worker motivation nosedives."*

Great leaders know how to create friendship and respect within their organizations. Which means you can step out with your employees without stepping over the line.

*This excerpt is used by permission from Dr. John C. Maxwell's free monthly e-newsletter 'Leadership Wired' available at

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