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I am a reformed choleric who has worked alongside different leaders. So, I have the advantage of seeing things from the perspective of a principal as well as from the point of view of a follower.

Many choleric leaders are focused on noble goals. There are many spiritual leaders and business entrepreneurs on this table. They are passionate about what they are building for the greater good. They pour their passion, energy and focus into it and that’s what makes them so successful. But, they tend to see things in black and white. They see people the same way too. “Is this person helping me to achieve my goal or not?” They then categorize people based on the answer.

You’ll find that employees or volunteers who become friendly with such leaders (and whom they respect) are those that are deemed loyal, reliable and also efficient at delivering tasks. But, the minute those people decide they want to do something else, a mental sorting process happens in the mind of the choleric leader. It’s not malicious. It’s just instinctive. The person ceases to be relevant to the cause.

Sometimes these leaders may even feel a misplaced sense of betrayal. The leader may forget that the person has given his life, during whatever time they spent, to the organisation’s goals. They paid their dues and were faithful to the terms of their contract. The organisation in fact owes some measure of its success to their contributions.

Yet another thing I’ve observed, is that Choleric leaders may not realize how much of their personal comfort and peace they owe to loyal staff. Because they are surrounded by good people, they don’t have to worry about trustworthiness or even mundane domestic responsibilities. They might take those things for granted without understanding the sacrificial cost to the staff. Good staff are extremely rare.

Finally, when a good staff leaves, do show empathy. Don’t just move on. For instance, if they are leaving for a second degree, ask them about it. Show interest. Write a glowing reference. Contribute to their tuition fee and try to check in on them, in future. Don’t make them feel like they’ve outlived their usefulness and so, no longer matter. Be humane.

Choleric leaders may not realize how much of their personal comfort and peace they owe to loyal staff. Good staff are extremely rare. Click To Tweet