5 Factors for Being a Likable Leader

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5 Factors for Being a Likable Leader

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As a consultant and coach, I have heard it many times. “I’m not here to win a popularity contest.” Does being a likable leader really matter?

You bet. Likability might be one of the most underrated factors for leadership success. There is usually a focus on revenue, the bottom line, and being visionary. Often only when things are going the wrong way is likability truly considered.

The most important outcome for being a likable leader might be the ability to build better relationships. What are some of the most common characteristics of being likable? What would you look for?

Success Factors

Leaders should consider or honestly assess some or all of these factors:

  • Flexible. Certainly, the job must be done and it absolutely must be on time, with quality, and with the highest efficiencies. However, being flexible in approaches, input, and being open-minded will gain more commitment and loyalty.
  • Generous. Of course, someone will bring up money. Money is important and appropriate compensation will always be a major factor. Don’t forget about giving time, spending time, and listening. Often overlooked these generosities might be a deciding factor.
  • Empathetic. This will always be on the list. Being understanding and patient sometimes feels like it only applies to motherhood or mortuaries. In a fast-paced, low tolerance world, having appropriate empathy is often a missing link.
  • Connected. Sure rubbing elbows with the right people is always beneficial for the organization. Social media connections might also have some value. Likable leaders form connections with people, with employees, in real life person-to-person relationships.
  • Open. Good listeners and being open-minded are first thoughts, and they are good ones. Change should also be mentioned, not just organizational change but interpersonal and professional change. Being known as stubborn, bull-headed or a bully is not likable.

Likable Leader

Being likable as a leader is not a sign of weakness. Instead, it is a sign of strength, courage, and commitment to the future success of the people and the organization.

The best part is that when we are on the job, especially as a leader, we recognize that we have work to do.

Sometimes that might mean working on us.

It only happens if you care.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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