Creative LeadershipCreativity

Do You Want to Be Liked, Or Be Effective?

I’ve always been a people pleaser, which on far too many occasions has been a disaster when I’ve had to make tough decisions. In fact, many times in a film or TV studio, I’ve called a “wrap” when I knew I didn’t have what I wanted on film – but I was uncomfortable pushing people to the next level.

Don’t make the mistake I did, by waiting too long in my career to draw the line. Now is the time to make the decision on which direction you want to move – be a people pleaser or be effective?

Being “effective” means being able to make the tough decisions, push people to their limits and get the job done, even when you need to step on a few toes. It doesn’t mean being a jerk, but it does mean setting a standard and letting everyone on your team know that you’re going to achieve it.

On the other hand, if you choose to be liked, you’ll spend the rest of your career bouncing around everyone’s different expectations, and worrying that you’ve hurt someone’s feelings.

Be gracious, but be effective.

Has anyone else experienced the frustration of being a people pleaser?

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  1. I’ve found intimidation is closely wrapped up in people pleasing – and squelches true creativity. Thanks for hitting the nail on the head with this one!

  2. Taking care of my production crew has been always a high priority for me as a producer. If they are happy doing their job, there are higher chances to the job be successful.
    However… like you said, sometimes we need to push harder, be tough and ask for the “third mile” Thanks God, i learned that making the crew part of the decision making has always worked out well for me. They are also part of the show and as leaders, we need to make sure they are excited in getting the best outcome of their efforts.

  3. Time and experience have taken care of this issue for me. Experience has told me that if I lean towards being liked, the project may not come off as good as it could have.
    I try to aim for both, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I found framing my words in a way that helps people see the bigger picture of the project, help them understand they are needed and part of a team, and do it all with a smile and a good attitude, many times motivates people to get the job done. Not being effective at the cost of being liked doesn’t help in the long run of employment. Pushing to make things happen works- if you do it right.

    1. There’s such a thing as “servant leadership.” Leadership isn’t about being in charge, it’s about earning respect and being willing to make tough decisions.

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