Sometimes, the leader deliberately pushes “the organization” in a way that makes his people feel he is being either unfair or unrealistic. In some cases it is neither. The leader is merely testing the system to see how much production can be achieved. The results of this “test-push” may be used to improve the organization, the team’s capacity, or the leader’s approach.
This relational risk requires the leader to determine the standard by which they will judge their own effectiveness. Is the ultimate test of leadership pervasive popularity or is it meaningful results? It is easy to criticize the latter choice (it seems harsh, even cold), but this natural bias can limit growth. Indeed, the tension is resolved if one of those meaningful “results” is actually the development of people.