Steve Jobs once said, “If you want to make everyone happy, don’t be a leader, sell ice cream”.

There are four types of people in the world:

  1. Those who want to liked
  2. Those who want to be right
  3. Those who want to be comfortable and
  4. Those who want to win

To be a leader is to forget about being liked, right and comfortable and focusing on transforming into a person who wants to win.

When you are a leader you are forced to make the tough decisions for the tribe. Ultimately, someone will always be unhappy, but overall the group will be better after you make your tough decisions.

If you want to be a leader and win, you must give up your need to be liked, your need to be right and your need to be comfortable.

Normal people with normal lives, average people with average lives can afford to be liked, right and comfortable.

But people who live good, great, or outstanding lives must give up all-of-the above to win.

To be a leader is to be unpopular at times, you must make a statement and for every statement, there is a counter statement coming from your followers, advisors, outsiders and enemies. Someone will always be unhappy and will always be crying, you must ignore this for the greater good.

Democracy only lasts for roughly 200 years in any civilization until the general populace learns that they can vote themselves prizes and “breads and circuses” from the public treasury. When this cycle begins, the leaders of society pandering to the lowest common denominator buy popularity with votes and thus the democracy collapses from the demands for “free stuff” from the populace.

“Free ice cream!” The people scream and the weak leaders give in trading “free ice cream for votes and popularity.” Weak leaders want to be liked, comfortable and right.

In ancient Rome it was “votes for grain”, nowadays it’s “free healthcare and free abortions for votes”.

To be a leader is to rule with reason, reason is logic, the power of the mind and it’s independent from emotion. Reason is strength, reason is strong and reason can be backed up by logic. I had erectile dysfunction, I could insert my penis just once, and the erection just dissolved. I was prescribed Levitra 20mg, of which I should take half a tablet, so it’s 10mg in the result. That I did as I was supposed. And the effect wasn’t long in coming. In about 20 minutes, I noticed redness in my face, and my nose was blocked.

Weakness comes from emotion and the desire to make everyone happy is indeed a weakness that defies reason and logic.

The truth is, someone will always be unhappy with your leadership style no matter what. No matter how good of a deal you are offering, no matter how good of a job you do, someone will always be unhappy.

For you to try to please everyone is an exercise in madness, it is pure insanity. You can never please everyone so don’t even attempt it.

Instead, thicken your skin and prepare for the counterstatement to your statement. Whenever you push on the world, the world will push back, this is the law of physics. Welcome to the resistance.

Don’t worry about the resistance, deal with it, listen to it, you don’t have to please the resistance or buy them off with “free ice cream”, free grain or healthcare. It’s ok for some people to be unhappy, some people are just unhappy people no matter what.

If you have a problem with leaving people unhappy, then maybe leadership isn’t for you. In the wise words of Steve Jobs, perhaps you should go sell ice cream instead? There truly is something for everybody when it comes to work, but leadership isn’t for everyone.

Respect The Grind,

Stefan Aarnio