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Leadership and likability

Leadership and likability

Do leaders need to be likeable? Is it important for a team to like their leader? Appco Group Asia Organisational Head and Country Head for The Philippines and Malaysia Vishnu Annapareddy discusses the link between the two and why it’s important to get it right.

The question of whether leaders need to be likeable has frequently come up during recent company gatherings and events.

As part of my role, I regularly have one-to-one meetings with leaders and hear about problems they might have with their team, including brand ambassadors who seem entirely unable to work with them. The reasons may vary, but the bottom line is that the representative doesn’t tend to like their leader and doesn’t feel comfortable working with them.

My opinion on this is very simple and straight forward - every leader needs to be likeable. They must embrace characteristics such as positivity, approachability, kindness and humility. Likability is the cement that keeps the bricks together to build a wall.

For those who ask why after training a team, providing the required product knowledge and practical support they still need to likeable, I offer these two scenarios:

• I write down everything I have trained my team on and lay the pieces of paper flat on the table. I put a fan beside the table and switch it on and see what happens.
• Now, if I do the same, but write down everything on sticky notes instead, there’s a big difference.

If the paper is the leader’s training, and the sticky tape is likability, it’s clear that pairing the two will have the most effective results.
If your team likes working with you, then you will be better able to work towards long-term goals. If you are a likeable leader who acts with integrity during both good and tough times, you will have an unwavering team commitment.

How to be a likeable leader?

Becoming a more likeable leader is within your reach. You need to genuinely care about your people and make them feel important and special. Give each the spotlight to shine.
Ultimately, people don't care how much you know, but how much you care for them.

Vishnu Annapareddy, Centurion Organisation, is a partner to Appco Group Asia conducting face-to-face sales and fundraising for Appco’s clients in both Malaysia and The Philippines.
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