I not only believe that you can, but I think a leader must have a soft side. I don’t mean a soft side that bends the rules or overlooks things that are wrong, I mean the kind of side that is nurturing, is approachable, and is caring. Maybe the first thing we need to remember about leadership is, although leadership starts at the top with the leader, its never really about the leader.
As the leader you need to be hands on, but your primary objective is to empower others to make decisions and take actions that are aligned with your vision, purpose and strategy. These nuances are the softer side of leadership. These things are what can make or break your leadership, and they are not simple. It takes real effort and commitment to empower people and to continuously reward with praise and acknowledgement.
So as Men, sorry ladies, talking to the other guys here, are we capable of being soft, and still being an effective leader? I think professionally it is pretty easy to be “softer”, you know the old saying “You can catch more fly with honey than vinegar”. So I want to focus on our leadership of our families, here for a bit. Being a father of girls I have had to learn a little about leading softly as they respond better to a quiet conversation with Dad then to me yelling.
“Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness, I was taught to be kind to everyone;….But when someone is unkind to me, weak is not what you are going to remember about me.”
We also must remember “Soft Manly Leadership” is not weak leadership. I am sure we are all familiar with the Wild at Heart books. So I want to remind you guys about a man who exhibited a softer side when necessary and threw down when necessary.
Christ is maybe the best example of this we can find. He said “Let the children come tome, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these…” Matthew 19;14, and then later destroyed a market set up in the temple “You have made my Fathers house a den of thieves…” Matthew 21:13.
I say yes, Manly Leadership must have a softer side. Although a leader is required to be assertive, focused and direct, they also must be kind, agreeable and caring. Its hard to be all these things to everyone, but I think whether professional, spiritual, or with your family, being a man is important, leading effectively is important but maintaining a soft side is imperative.
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