But can anyone actually explain the advantages of being disliked? If leadership is influence, then ‘unlikable’ is a tremendous handicap.
King David was a great leader, King Saul was a leadership fail. The resulting difference? People liked, (and loved), David while they ran from Saul.
Here’s David: Now all the people took note [of something David did], and it pleased them, since whatever the king did pleased all the people. II Samuel 3:36
Here’s Saul: “All of you have conspired against me… not one of you is sorry for me…” I Samuel 22:8 Ever notice how unlikable leaders expect loyalty while great leaders have earned it, how unlikable leaders are jealous while great leaders do things for free?
Three rhetorical questions Saul asks; “Why wasn’t I told about this?” “Why do you like David more than me?” “Why don’t you honor me?” – Suspicion, jealousy, and manipulation.
How to be likable
David’s son said, “Let not mercy and truth forsake you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart, And so find favor and high esteem In the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:3-4 Luke describes, “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:52
Mercy, truth, wisdom, and stature directly increase your likability. Suspicion, jealousy, and manipulation make you difficult to follow.
Three steps to being likable:
1. submit our own thoughts and feelings to the David/Saul test
2. invest time and focus on building mercy, truth, wisdom & stature
3. exercise mercy, truth, wisdom and stature right now
Unlikable leaders seem unaware – we need help with this. How can you tell if those you lead like you?