Being a leader is not easy. If you are a leader in your organization, I commend you for taking on this important responsibility.

As a leader it is important that you are not only firm, but clear with your expectations. That means you also need to hold your team accountable to those clear expectations. So my advice is that leaders stop being “NICE” and instead should be more firm with your team. Being overly “NICE” simply means Nothing Inside you Cares Enough about your team’s development.

First, leadership requires you to reprimand your people. You don’t want your team making mistakes repeatedly without consequences. By reprimanding them you are saving them time to find better solutions and ultimately to get the results you are looking for from them. This also saves them time from making future errors, saves them time to make the adjustments necessary, so that they can grow and improve.

Secondly, leaders should be more firm about firing people. I know that this seems pretty obvious, right? However, a lot of leaders do not want to fire people because it’s not “NICE.” The way I see it is, the real reason you don’t want to fire someone is that you don’t want to feel guilty. Unfortunately, that is selfish and self-serving. Firing someone is part of helping that person find another job that fits them better. No one wakes up in the morning wanting to fail or be reprimanded, or not do their job well.  Really, no one wakes up like that!

Sometimes people are simply put into a role that does not fit their strengths. Sometimes they’ve been promoted up to a role that they don’t have the right skills for – maybe due to bad recruiting or bad development – whatever the circumstances.

As a leader, if you don’t do anything about it you are creating a very disengaged and unmotivated person.  The risk you face is that person could end up feeling so bad about themselves that eventually this will impact other areas of their lives. Do you really want to do that? Just for the sake of looking good in front of other people and looking “NICE”.

Lastly, it is always better to address the deficiencies. Then develop them or help them find a better place where they can feel better about themselves doLeaing something where they can be successful. If you want to get out of this cycle of NICE-ness and truly prepare people, it starts with a discussion about how they can meet expectations.  Teach, develop and give them the necessary tools for how to be successful.

Ultimately, your purpose as a leader is to contribute back to the people who work for you. As a leader, you need to embrace that responsibility and coach them to become better and being firm is a large part of that purposeful leadership responsibility.