You must choose between being strong and being popular

Too many leaders value their popularity, protecting it at all cost, degrading their credibility.  Noel DeJesus

Being in charge comes at a cost, and success also comes at a cost. If you want to be loved and popular – both valuable goals – guess what, they also come at a cost, and that cost is: leadership points. 

What people often forget is that business is mainly a means to “go to the bank”. The main difference between successful businesses and the other 98% of them is that the absolute great majority of business owners go into business just to have a job “on their own terms”. The truly successful ones are those that set goals and follow through, and the main goals are those in line with achieving success and “making bank”. 

You cannot tip-toe your way around life much less around your career. The most distinguishable success traits you can have are credibility, honesty, trust and respect.  

There will come a time where you will have to make the unpopular decisions. Maybe you’ll have to switch offices to a new location, fire someone for underperforming, perform budget cuts and so on and so forth. All these decisions might arise out of necessity, and out of strict necessity you will have to take them. But for sure they will endanger your popularity.

If you tip-toe around your responsibilities because you are scared that people won’t like what you are doing then you lose.

A leader’s job is to make the hard decisions and live with them. And by showing fortitude and strength of character, give others the strength and confidence to live with those same decisions.

If you have to choose between being strong and being popular, choose strength. When things get complicated, when issues arise, when problems begin to overwhelm you, that is the most important time for you to be strong, both for yourself and also for your people. You’ll do fine.


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