There is a lot of weight put on likability these days.
Whether it is your Congressman, the CEO of Yahoo or your Manager at the yogurt shop, people have created a deep bond between how much they like someone and how satisfied they are with the job that the person does.
Heck, the most popular social media network on the planet asks us to “Like” things day in and day out.
Now don’t get me wrong… or in my best teenager impression “Like, don’t like get me wrong…”
I’m sure we have all heard someone say, “She’s really nice, but she isn’t getting it done.”
And while sometimes that is a genuine feeling, often those are merely rationalizing words prior to some type of discourse.
When leading any organization (including your own household), there is a certain amount of fiduciary duties that everyone has.
It would be easy to be liked if every time someone asked for a day-off, a pay increase or a promotion you were to say…”Sure, of course!”
Next handing over the check book, the company credit cards and the keys to your office.
Of course we know this isn’t realistic.
So we shoot to balance being liked with being disciplined.
Knowing that we cannot meet everyone’s “Happy” so if we want to be liked we are going to have to earn it the old fashioned way.
Balancing Likability with Reality
Anyone that has held a leadership role know that being liked isn’t an every day option.
Some days we are going to have to disappoint.
You may even have to fire someone you really “Liked” because they weren’t getting the job done.
But, that is because being liked only works if you are getting things done!
Being Effective aka Getting $hit Done!
Remember the bookworm in high school that had no friends?
It wouldn’t surprise me a bit to find out that is your boss today.
That is because while the rest of us (except you of course) were seeking to be popular, the “Nerd” was learning how to someday become your leader.
Hence, it is great to be liked, but if you want to lead you have to balance your popularity with accomplishment.
Being Likable and Effective?
This is absolutely possible, it may not be as easy as being the human “Giving Tree,” but if you incorporate the tenets of being a good human, and balance it with focus on getting important things done then it is possible.
Remember, in the end people will want to work with those that drive results (Ethically, of course)!
And that can be done with empathy, humility and a dictionary full of other leadership keywords.
So go on and pursue the “Likability Factor.” There is nothing wrong with wanting to be liked and it certainly beats the alternative.
But at risk of divulging obvious information…Focus first on being effective and a good human being.
If then you are liked, great, and if not…who’s fault is that, really?