Strict or Soft: the problem with extremes

Some leaders are too strict with their teams. Others are too soft. There are problems with being at either extreme.

Soft leaders

Soft leaders should not be in leadership positions. They seldom build excellent companies. They rate avoiding conflict higher than they rate setting standards and enforcing them. If these leaders do build excellent companies, it is often because they have deputies that have the real control.

When leaders are more interested in being liked than they are in developing their people, they accomplish neither – they fail to bring out the best in their people, and while they may be liked, are usually not respected. Often, they are pitied by their teams – pitied for being too soft, for allowing people to be slack, sometimes allowing people to get away with outrageous behaviour.

These leaders are most likely to keep the wrong people and by failing to set and enforce standards, harbour mediocrity in their teams. They most often fear their teams, fearing that if they call people out on unacceptable standards, those people will leave.

Occasionally these leaders do have winners on the team, but the winners soon move on once they lose respect for their soft leaders.

Strict leaders

Leaders can be too hard on their people, too. But strict leaders are often strict about everything and can micromanage to a point where their people are afraid to show initiative, and even more afraid to convey bad news to their leader.

These leaders often fail to celebrate results and, while they are quick to point out what people have done wrong, can feel awkward metering praise to their people. Their offices are often dour places to work, with very little fun.

One leader I know recently forbade his two salespeople to have lunch together. What did he think was going to happen – a conspiracy? I can’t even call this strict leadership – it’s downright dumb leadership. This leader has precisely ZERO salespeople now!
Some wear their strict leadership as a badge of pride, but being too strict can be as ineffective as being too soft. Strict leaders lose people, many who could have become winners had they received good leadership.

Extremes

Extremes of strict and soft are not good. I am not suggesting middle ground either.

Good leaders set standards for their people and, when people fall short of those standards, they are counselled, retrained if necessary, and terminated if they continue to fall short of the standard. If termination is required, they do it swiftly, but always with kindness and compassion.

But there are times when leaders must also allow minor things to pass without comment. Teams can get under pressure and leaders must release the pressure occasionally, or good people will leave. A bit of fun does wonders.

Good leaders have range in their leadership styles. Strict when necessary, uncompromising when necessary and soft on occasions. Always we must show our people that they are important to us, and the best way to show that is to be interested in them, and work at bringing out the best in them.

Avoid the extremes, they burn good people and kill profit.

Gary Pittard

Recent Articles

You Cannot Motivate People

In almost three decades as a real estate agency profit consultant, I have worked with many leaders and interviewed many more. Over this time, I have ...

It's Time To Hire

Shrinking your sales team when your market is tough can shrink your business into oblivion. Join me for this short Leadership Session in which I h...

A Repeat of Last Year

Here we are at the beginning of a new year. But before we get too far into this new year, how were your results last year?Were you happy ...

Think the Best

No doubt you have heard real estate agents blame the market, or clients, for their poor results. "Buyers are liars", or, "Sellers won't see reason...

A Leader's 'Non-Negotiables'

In my 25 years as a real estate agency profit consultant, I have often heard leaders complain that they can't find good people. A second complaint...

Let's Look At The Real Problem

In some markets, real estate agents often say that they have plenty of listings, but need buyers. Real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pitta...

The More You Learn

Show me an industry where you can earn six-figure incomes without knowing what you are doing. I'll bet that you cannot name one. Yet this is what many...

Is Door Knocking Still Effective?

In a real estate industry poll, over 65 percent of respondents said that door knocking is no longer an effective method for finding new listings. In...

Strict or Soft: the problem with extremes

Some leaders are too strict with their teams. Others are too soft. There are problems with being at either extreme. Soft leaders Soft leader...

Salaries: Expense or Return?

Many real estate agency principals suffer from 'salary phobia': they view salaries as an expense instead of an investment. Real estate agency prof...

A Little Word Salespeople Should Use More Often

Good salespeople are always on the lookout for new lines and for new ways to deliver their messages, but there is one word that many should consid...

Clueless Negotiating

"Transparency" is all the rage, but as a negotiation strategy it is full of holes. Real estate agency profit consultant, Gary Pittard, says that tra...

Want to reach your profit potential? Contact us now.

Pittard


Suite 71, Level 4
330 Wattle Street

Ultimo NSW 2007
Australia


Mailing Address
PO Box 2045
Strawberry Hills NSW 2012


: (02) 8217 8500
Fax: (02) 9281 4198
AUS Free call: 1800 663 600
NZ Free call: 0800 448 065
International: +61 2 8217 8500

: info@pittard.com.au

Contact Us