Striking the right tone is essential to optimizing employee performance and receiving the highest levels of employee output. Disengaged employees cost US companies between $450 and $550 billion per year. However, mastering your leadership style to maximize employee performance can be tough.

Some leaders prefer to remain aloof from their subordinates, maintaining that they are too busy, or too shy to socialize. However, leaders who manufacture psychological distance between themselves and employees tend to incite low morale, which discourages productivity. On the other end of the spectrum, leaders with a fiery demeanor tend to make employees nervous, and may quietly convince them to pursue other opportunities.

Honing your leadership style is an art. No need to come across as cold, yet no need to present yourself as an animated firebrand either. Often, leaders who walk the line between these two extremes suffer from their own type of image problem. Leaders who exude positive energy are sometimes assumed to be lax in their expectations.

Despite the persistence of the aforementioned stereotype, it can be overcome.  The most effective leaders both energize employees and make extensive demands. You can be inspiring while also rigorously pursuing excellence.

If you energize, encourage and reward employees, they will go out of their way for you.  Bringing out the best in people not only helps them thrive, it helps you thrive too.

Get the full story about transformative leadership at The CEO Magazine.