I used to assume that leading required tactics like those from leaders with strong personalities. If I was going to get anything done, I thought, I would have to drive it through. That might work for others, but it almost never works for me. I end up un-genuine, and everyone can see it.
In his book Setting the Table, Danny Meyer explains that leadership is like keeping a saltshaker in the middle of a table. People around you will always move the saltshaker a little off center, off the standards you expect. Your job as a leader is to move the saltshaker back to the middle of the table, calmly but consistently, before it gets to the edge. Meyer calls this leadership style “constant gentle pressure.”
This totally works for me. Alternatively, muscling the saltshaker off the floor is just the pits.