shouldn't a starship captian be a little mean to maintain discipline on a starship?
It would be a bit backwards after showing how Kirk commanded. I think it was Shatner that made the decision to have Kirk have a friendly demeanor after the reception Christopher Pike got. His idea is that in the future a commander could easily be friendly and maintain discipline on a starship. However, he would become harsh only when it was necessary such as his treatment of Stiles in "Balance of Terror". I feel A-Hole Picard was simply done just to make him different enough from Kirk, but they obviously backed away from that decision over time and I think for the better. There are a few touches I liked on Picard during the early season, such as in "Encounter at Farpoint" the red alert klaxon is going on and Picard shouts "shut off that damn noise!".