A Quote by James A. Autry on emotion, management, leadership, self esteem, and compassion

A few weeks ago, one of the senior managers in my group told me about a very difficult critique session he'd had with one of his women employees. He had hired her, with great expectations of an outstanding performance. Instead, she had not adjusted well to her new job, and her performance was lackluster. An appraisal and perhpas a "caring conftontation" were in order. When he told her she was not doing the job well enough, she began to cry. She knew, she said, she was letting him down, and her own disappointment in herself embarrassed her. Thus she cried. "What did you do?" I asked. "What could I do? I felt terrible. I cried too," he said, and I couldn't help thinking about the big-time management consultant and his box of Kleenex. In my view, that manager demonstrated two things: He cared enough about the work that he was willing to confront someone he had a special interest in, and he cared enough about her to be hurt that she was upset. But let me make something clear: *I'm not talking about management for and by the wimps.* In fact, I am talking about the most difficult management there is, a management without emotional hiding places. You just can no longer be the tough guy, and you also can't come on as the impassive, icewater-in-the-veins "cool head." On the other hand, the kindly parent who listens-and-understands-but-does-nothing approach also won't work. No, in every situation, you must lead with your real self, because if you're going to be on the leading edge of management, you sometimes must be on the emotional edge as well.

James Autry

Source: Love and Profit: The Art of Caring Leadership, Pages: 110

Contributed by: Laurie