Leadership Strength: 6 Reasons Leaders Are Harsh vs. Strong #LeadMorale

Leadership Strength: How Do You Express Yours?

New leaders often act tough and harsh. Many outgrow the extremes through experience. Others don’t.

Why do some leaders continue to behave harshly?

Leadership Strength: Image looks like crater w/ blue sky in center.

Leadership Strength: It’s Not Coarse, Harsh, Rude. Image by Martin Helgan via Flickr.

Image by Martin Helgan via Flickr Creative Commons License

Leadership Strength: 6 Reasons Leaders Are Harsh vs. Strong

  1. They were led harshly instead of with leadership strength.

    They treat others they way their leaders treated them. Not a recipe for growth and success.

  2. They think kindness and humility mean weakness.

    They must learn that selfless doesn’t mean faceless. Influence through intelligence and connection.

  3. They discount situation as a leadership factor.

    Leadership in a continuous crisis environment is not the same as leadership in politics. Leadership in military differs from leadership in business. In business they aren’t training troops to perform constantly in harsh conditions under fire. Match leadership strength to the conditions.

  4. They think you can’t be well-liked and respected.

    This is one of the biggest legacy myths of leadership strength. Respected well-liked leaders inspire, engage, and foster organizational success. Click here for 18 ways they do this.

  5. They lack emotional intelligence and don’t want to develop it.

    They define leadership strength as coarse and harsh to justify their own natural style. Eventually people see this as selfish and reject these leaders.

  6. They mistakenly see honesty and diplomacy as opposites.

    They boorishly communicate anything they think. This is not authenticity and honesty. It isn’t leadership strength. It is leadership incompetence. Communicate with diplomatic honesty and your influence will stretch far and wide.

Why do some people accept these leaders’ harsh behaviors?

For the six reasons above AND two more.

  • They don’t see these leaders’ behaviors as harsh and inappropriate. They see them as strict and think strictness will make everyone better performers.

  • They shy away from leaders who treat them as equals. To some people, equality is scary. It requires shared responsibility with individual accountability. These folks will accept harshness for less accountability.

Leadership Strength vs. Harshness: Summary

Develop your leadership strength through emotional intelligence. It highlights how well you lead in diverse situations. Harshness and coarseness rarely apply. Emotional intelligence, insight, and inner strength universally apply.

Where and when have emotionally intelligent leaders helped you?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
18 Things Respected Well-Liked Leaders Consistently Do
Leadership People Skills: When Tough Leaders Show Empathy
Leadership, Here’s What’s Great About Humility
13 Emotionally Intelligent Leadership People Skills

©2015-2023 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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4 Responses to “Leadership Strength: 6 Reasons Leaders Are Harsh vs. Strong #LeadMorale”

  1. […] Leaders, How well do you show leadership strength w/o being harsh? Don't get stuck in the myths of toughness. Insights fr The People Skills Coach™.  […]

  2. Alli Polin says:

    Excellent! Years ago I was on a team that was leading a call center. The leadership team that came before us ran the group with an iron fist and I was dismayed to learn that people were actually afraid of the leaders. We took a different approach and started with listening instead of telling. We also prioritized building the relationships over immediate tinkering with the business model – we wanted to learn first. Within weeks, a senior organizational leader was sent our way and she told us to be firm, in control and in many ways, treat our employees like children. In the end, the org culture of the overall organization was too harsh for me to thrive and I left (and so did all of the other execs on my leadership team.)

    This article is a must read for so many, Kate!

    ~ Alli

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Dear Alli,
      I am so grateful for your story. It is a wonderful example of exactly what I am writing about. And interesting — the call center industry has had that reputation. Bravo to you and your colleagues for saying no with your feet and moving on to truly strong — not harsh — leadership.

      Thanks for your contribution here.

  3. […] Leaders, How well do you show leadership strength w/o being harsh? Don't get stuck in the myths of toughness.  […]

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