Being a leader involves a constant effort to find the right balance between keeping people challenged and keeping them feeling confident about their abilities.
Highly demanding leaders who are heavy on the challenge and light on building confidence levels often find themselves with burnt out team members who continually chase elusive success.
Softer leaders who focus heavily on making team members feel good while failing to push them hard enough find themselves with a status quo that is seldom challenged and improved upon.
Hands off leaders who “hire good people and stay out of their way” can find themselves with disengaged team members who have lost their way.
The optimal balance is to be heavy on both challenge and confidence-building leadership. This combination leads to inspired team members who are highly motivated to reach new peak levels of performance. But achieving this balance is not easy – only the most involved leaders will consistently deliver high levels of both ingredients.