Is it important for a business leader to be well-liked, or are results all that matter?

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Research into business leadership styles tends to indicate that there are no absolutes.  There are so many different kinds of challenges and situations that can arise in the business world that it is very difficult to identify a leadership style that is always best. 

Therefore, it is hard to know for sure whether a leader is always best served by caring only about results.  There are certainly examples of leaders who have cared only about results and have seemed not to care about what their subordinates thought of them.  The late Steve Jobs comes to mind in this regard. 

However, it is also true that this sort of leadership style can grate on people and can potentially lose effectiveness.  Alienating workers by caring nothing about how they feel may not work in the long term unless the leader can consistently achieve phenomenal results.

The answer to this, then, lies somewhere in between.  Leaders need to be focused on results.  A leader who is liked but whose company goes bankrupt is not a successful leader.  On the other hand, a single-minded focus on results can backfire if there is no concern for people.  Therefore, something in between is most likely to be best in most (but not all) situations.

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