Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

May 31, 2012

You’re not a Leader. You’re Just A Bully.

Just because you’re the leader doesn’t mean you can push people around. “Because I said so” isn’t a phrase that should be in your vocabulary. Your employees know that you’re the boss. You probably even have a name tag on your desk that says so.

That’s not how you inspire greatness.

No one likes a bully.

Especially when that bully also happens to be the boss.

What is often labeled “strong leadership” is really nothing more than bullying. There is nothing inspiring about it.

Instead of caring about employees. Instead of leading by example. Instead of creating an audacious mission. Instead of all that, it can just seem easier to shout and scream and fire — and hope you scare enough of the team into doing something that leads to revenue creation.

But the results are always disastrous.

Your bullying behavior stifles creativity and ultimately undermines what you actually think is important  — growing your business.  Short and simple — bullying is the direct opposite of growth. It is everything that growth isn’t.

  • Bullying punishes failure. Growth rewards smart risk-taking.
  • Bullying creates humiliation. Growth is the result of teamsmanship.
  • Bullying demands respect. Growth comes from giving respect.
  • Bullying is rooted in fear. The foundation of growth is confidence.

Frankly, bullying is easy to do.

Many times, it is a natural reaction when you are threatened as a leader.

But that doesn’t make it right.

You do have the option as boss to make what you say the last word. You can stomp and stammer and make everyone else around you feel like an idiot.

But remember, nothing brilliant has ever come about from bullying. No creative artwork. No transformational invention. No world movement.

Bullying can’t do the things that really matter. It can’t inspire, support, or empower those around you to help you change the world.

Think about that the next time you feel threatened as a leader.

Are you a bully?

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.