It was Pastor Eric Geiger who said, “If you goal in life is to keep everybody happy, don’t be a leader, sell ice cream. As a leader there is a constant temptation to say things, do things and decide things that will keep you popular and liked. It’s a dangerous road to travel. Dan Rockwell shares some simple ways to quiet the need to be liked.

Originally published by Dan Rockwell

Enjoy it, but don’t need to be liked.

You live life at the whim of others when you need to be liked.

You can’t succeed as a leader when your need to be liked exceeds your drive for results.

#1. Enjoy being liked by the ‘right’ people.

Be liked by team members. It’s possible to perform at high levels with people who don’t like you, but not over the long-term and not without manipulating them.
Enjoy being liked by people you work to serve.
People who share your values matter more.
When you value generosity, don’t worry if greedy people don’t like you.

#2. Enjoy being disliked by the ‘right’ people.

A young politician once told me he was disappointed that the Republicans tried to make the Democrats look bad and the Democrats did the same to the Republicans. In the process the best interest of the community is left behind.

Don’t worry when a competitor doesn’t like you. Worry about serving your customers.

#3. Enjoy being liked by people who benefit from your service.

People who are well liked are also disliked intensely. Think of Ronald Regan, Jesus of Nazareth, or Nelson Mandela.

Not everyone values your service.

On occasion I receive messages from critics. Sometimes their observations are useful. Often they want me to be like them.

  1. Always learn.
  2. Adapt occasionally.
  3. Stay focused on delivering value.

Criticism drives you crazy when you need to be liked.

#4. Worry more about liking than being liked.

Accept that you can be great at something and be disliked at the same time.

Being disliked means you stand for something. Think of Abraham Lincoln.

“Getting people to like you is merely the other side of liking them.” Norman Vincent Peale

Focus on liking the people you serve.