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.