The best leaders understand there’s a difference between being nice and being kind.
Being nice is telling your team what they want to hear. Being kind is telling your team what they need to hear.
You’ll want to work for a leader that helps you and the team move forward. That means both new developments (good and bad) and personal feedback need to be shared directly and in the moment. Without sugarcoating it.
If you’re falling behind, a nice manager will tell you it’s fine. An asshole will tell you you’re doing a terrible job, and pressures you into working harder without lending a helping hand. A kind manager will tell you you’re falling behind, and helps you to meet a set standard.
Nice managers don’t help you get better, because they’re afraid it’ll upset you. Until the elephant in the room is so big it can’t be ignored any longer and drastic measures will have to be taken. They limit your growth to avoid confrontation.
Kind managers address the elephant in the room as soon as it enters. They help you to deliver your best work, and let you know when you’re not.
As a leader, it’s important to lay all cards open on the table. The good and the bad.
Your team is not made of sugar. Be kind, not nice.