WSJ – The Two Contagious Behaviors of a Great Boss

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-two-contagious-behaviors-of-a-great-boss-1537588820

  • bosses know their behavior is contagious
    • put on a cheerful face when the situation calls for a steel spine
    • let their emotions burn hot when stifling them would be better
    • let standards slide when the stakes feel low
  • common leadership postures are defective
    •  likability, or a pattern of projecting joyfulness, playfulness, optimism, enthusiasm and humor
    • leading by fear
  • The two behaviors proven to be good
    • Relentlessness (seriousness, courage, tenacity and outsize effort)
      • when Washington pushed his troops to the limits of their endurance, he was always right beside them
      • extraordinary effort by one team member can compel everyone else to give more
    • emotional control
      • acts of insubordination and incompetence, he (Washington) tried to avoid berating them
      •  stoical composure
  •  Washington wasn’t a fun boss.
    • His stoicism didn’t endear him to everyone.
    • Many officers found him cold and reserved and marveled that they’d never seen him smile.
  • bosses who are considered diligent, cautious and reserved earn higher ratings for integrity than those who seem excitable
    • Regulating emotion is exhausting
      • isolates leaders from their teams.
      • doing so almost never makes things worse
    • during a crisis, a leader’s ability to bottle emotion is contagious, inspiring everyone to focus on the task
  • Leading others by relentless effort and emotional control demands immense personal sacrifices

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