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Which is better: Should a boss be loved or feared?

PrepLounge: Personal Fit
New answer on Feb 18, 2024
26 Answers
2.4 k Views
Anonymous A asked on Oct 06, 2019

How would you answer this question in your Personal Fit interview? Receive feedback on your answer and browse through the Q&As to review the approaches of other applicants and experts.

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Giovanni replied on May 16, 2022

I would try to reframe the meaning of fear in the context of team projects.

I should not fear my boss as a person, I should be afraid of the consequences of my mistakes. If I do not fear these consequences, it either means there are none (and therefore my job has no impact) or that my boss is always ready to cover for me (and therefore I will never develop autonomy).

My boss should do their best to create a friendly environment for me to work and grow, but they should also be clear on what is expected from me, within which deadlines, and what happens if I don't meet the deadlines.

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Reinoud replied on Apr 19, 2022

A boss should be loved, as love creates a basis for long-term cooperation and an environment in which people can openly challenge each other for progress. Fear might work in the short term, but paralyses teams in the long run.

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Anonymous E replied on Jun 28, 2022

They should be admired but indirectly command authority and respect to motivate others to get the job done. By being loved/admired, you encourage your teammates to be honest and authentic when working together, which is great for dissolving team conflict and improved performance

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Anonymous N replied on Feb 18, 2024

Nichts davon ist wirklich gut. Eine Balance finde ich wichtig. Wen man liebt möchte man nicht verletzen und teilt ggf wichtige (schlechte) Infos nicht. Gefüttchete dann traut man sich nicht zu sagen. Skala Richtung geliebt ist besser als gefürchtet. 

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Anonymous M replied on Jan 15, 2024

I believe the answer line lies in the fine line between fear and love

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Anonymous C replied on Nov 22, 2021

Depends on the context of the situation. Feared, if an organisation needs to act very quickly and has very clear restrictions to deliver. Loved, as a default operation to foster collaboration among peers and subordinates and to form trusted alliances towards leading the organisation.

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Anonymous B replied on Oct 06, 2019

If the interviewer and I were getting along well, I would actually just quote Machiavelli back at him (just for the funny element). But if you want a more serious answer, I think you have to elucidate that there has to be a healthy balance of both in a work environment. If people respect/love their boss, they're more likely to output higher quality work because they feel their boss deserves that quality. Fear is also critical in maintaining credibility in the workplace. I would generally choose to equate fear to establishing consequences for employees. Someone can love you all they want, but if they don't fear giving you bad work then there's a greater risk the deliverables aren't up to par.

tldr: just quote machiavelli, he says it beautifully

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Anonymous J replied on Jul 03, 2023

A boss should be loved. When a boss is loved, the whole team is ready to work and do their work the best way. A loved boss would offer a friendly environment that encourage everyone to work and grow. As well, a boss should communicate clearly what is demanded and know when to talk firmly too.

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Valerie replied on Jun 12, 2023

Be loved because teamwork is so much more valuable than a boss who is feared and employees would do more for a boss they admire.

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Hen replied on Oct 23, 2022
young attorney looking for a career in consulting

I believe a boss is much better lived than feared. “love” or other positive emotions allow the manager to use a mich wider set of tools to get to the goal the team need to measure up to 

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Anonymous K replied on Jul 25, 2023

I think both usually apply. That is if you understand “feared” as respected or in a sense that implies that you don't want to make any mistakes because you might fear consequences.

 

However, since the question is “which is better”: I'd say to be loved is better than to be feared. In the right conditions, when a boss is a leader and not a boss in the archaical sense, they create an environment where I can thrive. In such an environment I would also be extrinsically motivated to do my job exceptionally well, despite my intrinsic motivation. As an example I currently have a boss who is more feared than love. I try to thrive despite his presence but never feel he appreciates anything I do. So I do my best despite him and not because he inspires me to do my best.

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Nicolas replied on Jul 24, 2023

For me better loved, as fearing the boss could lead to less innovation and less initiatives from the team. But love should come you a form of firmness.  

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Hovhannes replied on Jul 26, 2022

A boss should neither be loved note feared. A good leader should be respected. 

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Anonymous F replied on Jul 05, 2022

Respected (by deserving it)

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Anonymous I replied on Sep 30, 2022

I think the boss should be loved. As I am a big Fan od world best boss. Michael Scott. Lol. Jokes aside.

A leader should be loved as it creates a healthy environment in the workplace. A happy leader is better at leading his team and with confidence while backing his team members. A feared manager will have inputs from its team and has a less potential of exploring all amazing ideas and opportunities.

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Wael replied on Sep 23, 2022

He should be Loved not feared

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Anonymous H replied on Aug 27, 2022

Fundamentally a boss should be loved, so they have the trust and acceptance of his employees. Yet they must make sure their likeability doesn't compromise their integrity or authority. They have to make clear announcements and make sure the direction they take is followed by their employees.

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Sep 30, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

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Anonymous G replied on Jul 30, 2022

A little bit of both, perhaps. A boss at once needs to be loved in order to hold favor with their team, while also being respected.

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Jasmin
Premium
replied on May 16, 2022

loved

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Anonymous D replied on May 01, 2022

Loved

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Lulwah replied on Apr 24, 2022

loved

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Belema replied on Jan 19, 2022

Feared

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abdul salam chatila replied on Jan 06, 2022

loved

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zeina replied on Nov 26, 2023

In my opinion, I believe a boss should be loved. A boss should demonstrate strong leadership and guidance skills in a way whereby he/she is fair to: the company , his/her team and to the integrity of the role. In a workplace environment, when a boss is loved, this creates a positive atmosphere and increases motivation as well as enhances teamwork and this would ultimately result in a more efficient and productive impact on a professional and personal level for everyone on the team. 

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Anonymous L replied on Aug 11, 2023

Fear is a concept which should not have a place at work. Fear reduces performance, intimidates people and leads to dissatisfaction.

Blind love is also a concept which should not have a place at work. Love makes people follow the decisions of someone without questioning them, leading to potentially bad outcomes.

A boss should be respected for his seniority, knowledge and leadership. However, he should never be intimidating. A boss who knows how to gain the respect of his co-workers will always be loved, but not blindly.

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