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Lead, Don’t Please.

By March 15, 2016February 14th, 2019Articles, Leadership

People-Pleaser“I can’t tell you the key to success but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.” Ed Sheeren

As Peter Drucker said “The purpose of business is to create and keep a customer”. There’s no one you should be trying to please in business other than your clients. Your clients drive your cash flow and without them you don’t have a business. So they are King of the Castle so to speak and we need to keep them happy and engaged. That’s where the pleasing should end. And where the leading should start!

In the environment we’re working in leaders simply can’t afford to have pleasing people a top priority (other than clients of course). By trying to please the masses Leaders create significant problems for themselves and their business. The more people we try and please the less chance we have to actually please. The more we try and please the more frantic we become, the less focused we are. After all, who is in control here? Who’s driving the business? Who’s navigating the challenges we face in business?

And here is the cold hard fact. The people you are trying to please control you. Think about it. When you’re trying to please someone your thoughts and actions are driven by that person or people you are trying to please. You have handed over the opportunity to be a great leader to be a simple people pleaser.

Is that how you want your leadership defined? As pleasing?

Leaders can’t afford to have pleasing people as their leadership strategy any longer. For those who do have this in the tool kit, it’s time to replace it and step up. This strategy is no longer relevant in a dynamic, competitive and fast paced business environment. It’s a huge waste of energy and time that you could be spending on business strategy rather than working out how you can try and please this person or that person.

In reality, people don’t look to leaders to be pleased. They look to leaders for direction, decision, inspiration and empowerment. Pleasing doesn’t fulfill any of that. People will try and push boundaries and try to manipulate a situation to please them if they think they can. There’s no harm in trying right? It’s up to you if you allow them to manipulate you!

Understand the leader you want to be and ensure the only audience you are trying your hardest to please in business is the client. What comes after that is respect. That is what you should be seeking from others. Respect is earnt and sometimes people won’t like you. Get used to it. If you’re going to stand up, have a voice and make a difference, being liked is like being beige. It’s rather meh! It certainly doesn’t mean you need to set out not to be liked, it means that you need to be sure of who you are, what you stand for and where you’re driving the business and making decisions accordingly.

Stop letting others control you and take control of your destiny. In time, people will thank you for it.