The scores were level as the two teams went into their three-quarter time huddles.

Coach Jack launched into a ferocious tirade.

He had the vein sticking out of the side of his head as he lambasted his side, swearing at them, screaming at them and embarrassing individuals for their lack of skill and effort.

Coach Bob walked up to his team with a quiet authority.

He was clear in his direction as he taught, instructed and coached his side.  He knew that this was another great opportunity to pass on information and continue the process of learning.

The two teams went back out and Jack’s team, with their coach’s stinging words still in their ears, went on to win a close tussle.

Who’s the better leader?  Jack or Bob?

During the week, Coach Jack was pleased with himself.  The side had responded as he expected to his ferocity.

Coach Bob was also pleased.  Not with the result, but with the improvement that he was seeing from his team and from the relationship that he was building.

As the weeks progressed, each coach stuck with his own method.  Angry Jack and teacher Bob.

Whilst Jack’s style worked early on, as the season went on, the players tired of the abuse and they slid down the ladder.  The effect of the anger wore off and they started to just go through the motions.

Meanwhile, Bob’s side started to improve their results and build in confidence.  They had a clearer understanding of the game plan and the momentum was growing as they moved up the ladder into championship contenders.  When they made mistakes, they still knew about it, but they felt equipped to improve, not belittled.

Who’s the better leader now?

As a leader, it can be tempting to fall for the short-term benefits of giving someone a spray.  Fear, abuse, profanity laced tirades may work… briefly.  But the impacts soon wear off and you’re left with a disheartened, bedraggled group who are underperforming.

Unfortunately, many leaders who go rely on anger as a leadership technique, just get angrier rather than change their style.

Genuinely motivational leaders are able to deliver their message with clarity and focus.  They are in control of their emotions and take advantage of every opportunity to encourage, inspire and engage their people.

They understand that they are building for the long-term future, not dependent on the present, for their success.

Which leader are you?

Who would you rather work for?

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