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Posted on November 19, 2021

Punitive or Inclusive Leadership

A favourite song was playing at our favourite bar last Friday night. Spontaneously, I jumped to my feet with open arms to Michelle: an invitation to dance. The manager approached me from behind, cosied up, and kissing me on the cheek said, "Ray, you know the rules…" and smiled warmly. We happily complied, appreciative of his approach, and knowing we'd return there to dance as soon as the current COVID restrictions eased.

Not so for our friend who was a regular at another hotel, when he had this experience. Forgetting to put his face mask on while making a dash to the bathroom, a new security guard blocked his path and blurted, "If I have to wear a f***ing mask, you have to wear a f***ing mask." A command and a threat. My friend left the hotel feeling hurt and will likely never return.

The bar manager, who I'll call Lewis, because that's his name, demonstrated a warm and inclusive leadership style. It made us want to comply. Lewis believed the best about us: he gave us the power to decide; trusted us to make the right decision and achieved what he had to while maintaining a great relationship with us.

The security guard, however, demonstrated no trust which gave rise to his "do what I say or else" approach - a punitive and autocratic leadership style. By not considering the person, compliance was not achieved, a relationship was broken, and sadly for the hotel, business was lost.

Leaders roles are made easier when team members wholeheartedly embrace responsibilities and comply with requests because they want to. When employees know they are valued and are included in the decision-making process, external requests from the leader have a greater potential to transform into internalised commitment within the employee.

Inclusive leadership lowers resistance in others, improves engagement and inspires people to hang in there through the tougher times when compliance may be needed, rather than walk out the front door never to return.

All Posts

Posted on November 19, 2021

Punitive or Inclusive Leadership

A favourite song was playing at our favourite bar last Friday night. Spontaneously, I jumped to my feet with open arms to Michelle: an invitation to dance. The manager approached me from behind, cosied up, and kissing me on the cheek said,…

Posted on November 05, 2021

Surround Yourself With Different

I analysed the behavioural profiles of twelve managers in one of my early consulting projects and found the most glaring standout was the business owner had only recruited very similar people to himself. Not only was the business lopsided…

Posted on October 26, 2021

Of Port Barrels and Decision Making

As I poured a fresh quantity of port into my oak barrel, I noticed it leaking (almost running) out of the bottom. Argh...the timber had shrunk from being left to dry out over the past 12-months through non-use. Kicking myself for my…

Posted on October 15, 2021

Be Kind To Your Boss Day

Tomorrow is Boss's Day. It originated in 1958 by a woman who, working for her father, believed that boss's deserved appreciation from their employees. Consulting with those in Boss roles (including all those who manage people), I have seen…

Posted on October 13, 2021

Management Anchor Points

A key responsibility of the leaders I coach is oversight of performance indicators - and it's so easy during busy times to get distracted by the unrelenting tides of operational activity. Weeks pass quickly until the moment of realisation…

Posted on September 30, 2021

No Great Loss

The owner of a business I frequent as a customer, was lamenting the resignation of one of their key staff. "No great loss," was my response. He looked perplexed. I went on to say that the person who had resigned was unfriendly and,…

Posted on September 23, 2021

Small Adjustments

Having ordered a café latte and then observing the fast, weak flow of coffee out of the machine, I asked the young barista if she'd like some help in getting the pour right, to which she willingly agreed. Leaning over the counter, I first…

Posted on September 09, 2021

When Blokes Talk.

Watching a band on the edge of a dance floor, I got talking to a guy I had met a few times previously. The conversation led to a point where I opened up about my personal road through the darkness of depression. He subsequently shared…

Posted on September 03, 2021

Sheree

Sheree struggled to sleep. The day before had revealed some trends in the financial reports, that, should they continue, would create serious implications. And this bothered her. Sheree loved her job as General Manager. Having worked for…

Posted on August 26, 2021

Beating Restrictions

My sister recounted the story of wondering why her son, when in his teens, was tired every morning. It was years later they understood why. To restrict late hour gaming activities they would switch the internet off and then activate the…

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