Dr. Stanley Goldstein - Author and Psychologist

A Psychologist's Thoughts on Clinical Practice, Behavior, and Life

The Emotionally Cold Leader

April 2, 2018

Tags: management, leadership

While some emotional isolation can help a leader, serving to protect them from involvement in unhealthy regressive employee practices, it can damage too. If too great, it frustrates the normal dependency needs of their staff though the warmth of managers can compensate for this.

In these businesses, it may seem as if no one is in charge, particularly when the boss doesn't clearly delegate authority. Being uncertain how much power is vested in a particular person, lower-level workers won't make decisions without frequent consultations with their boss. This produces a destructive degree of caution and over-concern with political considerations. It eventually becomes accepted that emotional expression is risky and one must be a skilled manipulator to get ahead. Thus does the leader's coldness filter down and become characteristic of the entire organization.