“Great leaders and great HR leaders make their people feel uncomfortable,” said HR consultant Peter Barron Stark. “If you want to make people happy, be a clown.”
That doesn’t mean HR shouldn’t try to create a positive, enjoyable environment. But a leader’s role is to push employees outside their comfort zones and toward their maximum potential—something employees will find fulfilling, but maybe not always “fun.”
“Leaders who keep employees comfortable tend to last about three years or five at the max,” said Stark. Why? Because they’re too quick to accept the status quo.
The best employees, Stark says, are the ones who ask, “What’s the goal and what do you want me to do to get there?”