How close should you be to those you lead? Last month’s O magazine included an article by Suzy Welch, titled “When Good Women Make Bad Bosses.” Welch suggests that women sometimes err on the side of being either the “Ice Queen,” too distant from those they lead, or the “Good Mother,” too close. But the issues Welch raises are relevant for both men and women, especially in ministry and other helping professions. Welch says, “The remedy lies in striking the right intimacy balance-close enough to know your people, distant enough to lead them.”
How close do we need to be? Here are some tips for finding the right distance: 1) Keep your goals in mind as you relate to staff. You are first and foremost their leader, not their friend. 2) Be able to say both “no” and “yes” to requests from staff. Be sure both options are in your repertoire, and consider #1, your goals, as you decide. 3) Spend time with key staff regularly. While friendship is not the goal, developing relationships is essential to your leadership. Remembering both goals and relationships will help us as we supervise individuals and lead the entire group. Read my whole newsletter article here.
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