Today’s FT editorial argues that President Obama is so focused on being liked that he is not taking the necessary actions to lead effectively. In particular, he is not grasping the thorny issues on healthcare reform and climate change.

Whether you agree with this view or not, it is good to be reminded that leadership is not about being liked. 

Leadership is about raising the bar, clarifying goals, selecting and developing talented people, influencing and selling, setting priorities, making the big calls, persistence, creating meaning, learning, creating momentum, driving action, building relationships and trust, and managing the politics.

At the end of all this you may or may not be liked. But don’t start with that as your goal.

© Stuart Cross 2009. All rights reserved.