Apr. 19, 2016

Not everyone will like you: Be proud of those that don’t!

[What I learned from mean people on TripAdvisor.com and what I forgot to do during the verbal storm] 

You will make enemies on your journey in life.  In fact, if you don’t have a few people upset with you I know you haven’t made the tough decisions and taken action when needed.  You must be strong enough as a leader and individual to make the right decisions and not simply the easy option.  Don’t follow others when you know they are headed in the wrong direction.

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. - Peter Drucker

Politicians  try hard to get their constituency to like them.  Even then most elections are won by narrow margins and with only about 54% to 58% of the vote.  What this means is that a large group of people voted for someone else.  In effect, they either don’t trust their leadership, agree with them, or like their agenda.

When you are attacked verbally in an email, at work, or online remember that if 50% of the people like you and what you are doing you are doing well.  By knowing and understanding that you will have enemies will help you brush off vituperative comments.

If you don't have enemies, you don't have character. - Paul Newman

Paul Newman said it well.  I would change the thought slightly by saying that if you don’t have people against you, you must not be leading and making a difference.

Make the hard decisions at work.  Do what you as a leader knows has to be done.  Tennis star Boris Becker said:

I don't really care what the man on the street thinks. I never did anything to please him in the first place, and I'm not going to start now. - Boris Becker

Get a backbone and come to grips with reality.  You can’t please everyone and you certainly can’t lead expecting everyone to love you.   There are people out in the world where you  will be leading that don’t like anything and find comfort in putting others down. 

Now you know that you are going to have to deal with rejection, frustration, and people who simply don’t like you.  How do you deal with people who hate?  Enimem has a good philosophy of protecting your back.

Dealing with backstabbers, there was one thing I learned. They're only powerful when you got your back turned. - Eminem

Keep your eye on your enemies and those trying to bring you down. Only you can be true to yourself and protect yourself from those that you don’t get along with at work.

Another way to deal with those that dislike you is with humor.  Casey Stengel made me laugh with this comment:

The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided. - Casey Stengel

My father-in-law would always say, “Don’t let the bastards get you down,” and “It’s hard to set the world on fire when someone keeps peeing on your match. “  Go out, get a torch and hold it high.  The higher you hold your torch the harder it is for your distracters put out the flame.

Focus your energy in a positive direction and ignore those that are trying to infiltrate your mind.  When you worry about what others say you are letting them win. 

A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work. - John Lubbock

Don’t push yourself uphill filled with negative thought and worry.  Instead, load yourself up with positive thought and actions and take a joyful journey along the path of WOW leadership.