Decades ago, when I was a director at different hospitals, I had a style that worked well for me most of the time.

My style was a mix of hands on and hands off. In other words, I took time to make sure everyone was trained, gave them lots of information and training, and worked hard to keep finding out what they might not know. Then I left them alone, gave them the authority to make decisions that they felt were in the best interest of our customers, and only in extreme circumstances did I change up the rules a little bit and decide on a course of action that I wanted everyone to specifically follow.

bunch of leaders here

Bunch of leaders here

That worked well for most employees. They liked being able to make their own daily decisions. They knew I was monitoring the numbers, and that I was there for them to ask me questions. All was fine and dandy.

But there were some others who really didn't want that kind of management. They wanted me to tell them what to do, when to do it, how much they had to get done on a daily basis, etc. They felt that I didn't care as much if I wasn't checking every single piece of work they were doing every day, and offered that maybe I wasn't communicating with them as much as they'd like.

How do I know this? Back in 1999, I came across a survey during a system wide leadership training course that allowed you to first analyze your management style, then give it to others to have them evaluate you based on that. I took it first, trying to be as honest as possible, then I asked one of my supervisors to give it to 10 people at random, no signatures, then put it in an envelope and give it back to me.

The results were interesting. Nine of the people ranked me at the top of almost every category, higher than I had ranked myself. One person, however, had me in the middle or one step below in every category. This means that I was reaching 90% of the group, but 10% wasn't as happy.

A couple of months after that, the overall organization decided to do a leadership survey of its own for all managers. I ended up being tied for the highest rating of all managers with one other person, which was pretty nice. However, even with that, because they shared the results of the survey with us, there was one person whom they'd surveyed who had ranked me lower than everyone else; it could have been the same person.

I've never been one of those people who believes that I needed to be the "man" for everyone. Trying to attain 100%, unless people's lives are in danger, will keep most people from acting at all. Remember the line "if you stand for nothing you'll fall for everything."

When you're a leader or manager, you have a job to do that includes supervision of others. Supervision means you keep your eyes on the ultimate prize, and you make sure everyone works as a team. You try to alter your behavior towards everyone as much as you can to produce the best results possible.

But you have to also realize that you're just not everyone's cup of tea. No matter what you do, you can't please everyone. However, if you can work with them, then you'll still achieve the results you're looking for, and that's the best you can do.

How? First, you set standards for yourself and your department. Second, if you have supervisors, run your thoughts by them to see if they're with you. Third, make sure you have a way to monitor how things are going. And fourth, as a common phrase says, "you're not going to convince everyone", no matter what you do.

Do your best, stick to your process, and as long as the overwhelming majority seems to be thriving by it, don't worry about hitting 100% across the board... because that's never going to happen.