This post comments more on leadership in general and isn’t just relevant to the entertainment industry. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re the producer/director of a film, a CEO of a company, or the coach of a football team. If you’re the person running the ship, people will like you and dislike you no matter what.
Some of you may immediately disagree with me on this and say, well if you’re nice and fair to people then your employees will like you. How could they not right?
News Flash. Wrong.
It doesn’t matter how fair or nice you are to people. There will always be employees who will have an issue with you no matter what. Maybe these people just have issues with authority in general. Who knows? It’s not the point and not your concern.
If you are the boss, do NOT focus on being liked. It’s wasted energy. Focus on doing your job and being the best at what you do. People may not always like you, but if you are the best at what you do, then people WILL respect you. That respect is what creates career building reputations.
Focusing on people liking you does NOT lead to respect and a good reputation. If you’re the type of leader that just wants to be liked, well your employees will notice and exploit your kindness. Unfortunately, kindness is often mistaken for weakness. So even though they leave work always feeling like they got the better end of every deal, they won’t respect you. Be a boss, not a friend.
Now this doesn’t mean you should go around being a royal dick to people. Being a dictator leader doesn’t build a good reputation or respect either. In fact, it doesn’t even mean you’re good at your job. Being a leader means you’re a master at personality management and manipulation.
I recently was reminded of the infamous Christian Bale scandal where he blows up on the DP of the film he was currently working on. This video made me completely livid because the leaders of the film NEVER STEPPED IN. This actor knew the leadership was weak and exploited it. The director and producers surrounding the situation never stepped in to put out the fire. Not once. They left their employee, the DP, stranded to take the brunt of this actor’s meltdown alone in front of everyone. Sure, this outburst made Christian Bale look like a total idiot, but in my opinion, it made the director and the producers of that film look like the true imbeciles.
This is why I created THE PRODUCER BOOTCAMP. Poor leadership = poor business. Be great at what you do. You will be respected and you will build a strong reputation that will take you further in your career than being liked every could.