Drawing lines in Leadership

Leadership is not for those that don’t posses thick skin. It is essential that those who lead take the time to learn about those they serve. It is important to be human and find out what makes them tick. How are their families doing? What life struggles do they have, etc.? However, boundaries are essential. In fact, as a leader, if you don’t draw lines, it can be destructive to you and your career. I can speak from personal experience on this. Most people in leadership are compassionate and are genuinely concerned about people and their well-being. It is essential for this to be balanced and for a boss to remember that they are boss and subordinate.

I hired a lady that I dated. She was a single mom with two kids. She was bright and had the potential to move up the ranks quickly. I hired her because I wanted to help her family. THAT was the BIGGEST mistake in my life and my life has been impacted by that decision in every way.

My message for the day is to keep healthy boundaries. Don’t hire anyone that you had a prior relationship with and surely don’t EVER -and I can not stress this enough – forget they are your subordinate and, despite any prior friendship, you are the boss and need to act like it.


5 thoughts on “Drawing lines in Leadership

  1. Pingback: Drawing lines in Leadership | Steve Van Gorden

  2. Brenda Hendrick

    Steve I could not agree more, as a business owner I made the mistake of hiring family, another mistake, i put him in a supervisor position with no prior work related experience. I hired him because he had been out of work, unemployment gone, on verge of loosing home. I never thought he would take advantage of my good nature. Never hire family or friends, always know your boundaries.

    1. stevevangorden2013 Post author

      You are right Brenda. Now, I have learned a hard lesson. I will rebound somewhere and never make that mistake again. I just can’t wait to start contributing to society again in some form. I am feeling positive going into 2013.

  3. Debra

    Steve, you are just going through a little valley in your life. As I have spoken with some people in Zephyrhills, and some in executive positions, it has been brought to my attention that what happened to you as mayor should have never been entertained by the council. I have been told that what happened is the biggest mistake the council could have made and in the long run the council will have regrets because, you were the best thing that has happened to Zephyrhills in a very long time.
    I know without a doubt this is a small blip in what is ahead for you in your future. I can see you back in a public office in the near future. You have a lot to offer the right city or county but, I think it will be within the next two years. Keep your chin up and don’t let anyone stand in your way of success.


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