Is It Better to Be Liked or Feared?

If you’ve recently been promoted to a management position or just wavered at times in your careeryou may be asking yourself, as a good manager and coach, should I be liked or feared to be effective? In my latest BloombergBusinessWeek article I posted the fact that instead of vacillating between being a feared power player or a well-liked pushover, leaders should try to earn respect.

A recent LinkedIn discussion I led supported my premise that respect is really the goal. Most members of the Human Resource Management group felt that in order to garner respect, being liked is indeed better than being feared—but that at times some fear of authority is necessary to get the job done.

In the business world, the greater good of the company sometimes necessitates unpopular decisions. But managers can’t execute them without a foundation of respect. Please take a look at BloombergBusinessWeek for a perspective on how real power thrives on respect.