I am not impressed by someone’s ability to intimidate, cajole, persuade, manipulate, overpower or overwhelm others. No, what impresses me most are the people who have the ability to do these things, but who choose instead to let kindness lead them to success.
Once upon a time, a colleague of mine – frustrated by an assistant who couldn’t move as fast as he wanted – pulled her into his office and unleashed five minutes of verbal abuse before he fired her. She ran out in tears, and he came out with a big smile. “That felt SO good,” he said.
He viewed this incident as a success. I saw this as evidence that he was kind to people only as long as they did exactly what he asked. Otherwise, he cared not one whit about them.
It’s easy to yell and threaten, but these behaviors are signs of weakness, not strength. Strong people don’t lose control of their emotions. Skilled fighters say that once you lose your temper, you have lost the fight. Your vision narrows and you become dangerously impulsive. If losing your temper is a weakness for fighters, it is a deadly flaw for professionals.