I wonder if it is a false dichotomy between demanding excellence and being liked. Being liked has it's perks and I am envious of those perks because they are rare and fleeting for me.
Unfortunately, I choose excellence everytime.
I have no story to frame the point I am making today because it is sensitive. Instead, I want to make my point that the demand for excellence overrides the humanly desire for comfort and friendship. So I stick by my guns, and instill excellence as a culture. Nothing lesser.
This is why I do not work with friends (or my wife). Sometimes relationships are hurt in the name of excellence.