Executives: Can YOU Be Compassionate and DEMANDING?
‘Lucien Alziari, the chief human resources officer at Prudential Financial, captures this paradox in an approach he uses to give feedback to his team. “I tell them right up front,
‘Look, I grew up with tough love and you’re going to experience tough love,’” Alziari said. “It’s really important that you remember both sides of that phrase, because if you’re just experiencing tough, it’s going to feel like the dark side of the moon. But know that I’ve got your best interest at heart, and the only reason I’m doing this is because I believe in you and I want you to be even better than you are.”
There are many other gems in the article such as:
“That was sort of an epiphany for me,” Leondakis said. “I thought that being tough-minded and decisive and all those qualities and traits that I thought I was supposed to exhibit meant that I couldn’t show compassion.
“Since then, I’ve met just about every CEO who runs a big company. The ones I’m most impressed with do not seem packaged. They have this sense of peace, this self-awareness, that says, ‘I understand who I am.”
“For every expert who urges you to “lead from the front,” you can find another who insists that the best approach is to “lead from behind.”
“The best approach is to let people know about the big challenges (ideally paired with a plan for addressing them) while not overwhelming them.“
“CEOs need to be able to sense the mood — to, in effect, “read the weather” — in meetings or as they walk the hallways or visit stores and factory floors.”
Own the Conversation
If you have time the article (about 3400 words) is well worth reading.
If you don’t have time to read the article, let me suggest you ask yourself these questions:
- How well can I read a room – and what’s one thing I could do to improve my ‘room reading’?
- When is it best to lead from the front versus leading from behind – and what is my preference?
- In what situations can I be verbose and overwhelm people – and how might I avoid verbosity?