Have you ever awaken in the morning thinking, “How can I make someone’s life miserable today?” Of course not. Being the boss isn’t always easy, but most bosses want to do the right thing for their people. So, how do you know if you’re successful at juggling all those balls in the air? And you probably want to be more than just a good boss, but an amazing one.
There are no perfect bosses, but there are things that the good ones do differently. They realize that people are required to follow managers, but they choose to follow leaders. So, how do you know you’ve succeeded in that juggling act? And how do you know you’re not just a good boss, but an amazing one?
No one wants to be a bad boss. Some people simply don’t know they’re being a bad boss. Some people just luck into the position, while others work really hard to get there. Many bosses unfortunately don’t get the proper training to be great. Of course, there aren’t any plots at work here-it’s just that sometimes entrepreneurs and family business owners find themselves in charge, in spite of their lack of expertise at management. Even superstars can make it to the top without being trained to manage others.
Being a boss isn’t rocket science, but it does require a little focus and attention to be really good at it. Since people are depending on you, you owe it to them to be your best and to do what’s best for them. Here’s a look at some sure-fire tips that would help your employees rank you among the best bosses they’ve worked for:
1. Set reasonable goals. As the boss, you have a lot on your plate. And sometimes that plate just gets too heavy to carry. But passing it on down the line isn’t going to solve the problem. Chances are you’ll make matters worse and create a lot of frustration. You were made the boss so that you would manage the flow of things. So do it! Take a look at your team and delegate the load in a manageable way. Set specific goals and encourage the team members to reach them so that you can build some confidence and experience some success. Then when the next project comes along, up the ante. Maybe you can get the project completed a little sooner the next time.
2. Lead, don’t dictate. Just because you’re the boss, do you think everyone will do what you say? If they don’t respect you, their performance is going to be minimal, just enough to secure their position. If you want your team to be great, it’s up to you to inspire them to do so. You need to get them connected to the project and get them to take ownership. Under those circumstances, they’ll take pride in what they’re doing and appreciate the opportunity.
3. Highlight the positive. Too many bosses spend their time correcting their subordinates for every little thing. That way they think they will eliminate the errors and increase efficiency. However, constant criticism isn’t the answer. People don’t perform well in that scenario. A better approach might be to watch closely for people doing things right, and when they do, praise or reward them.
4. Be Your Own Great Boss. Being the boss is just the beginning. You’ll have more autonomy, but you’ll also have more responsibility. Your biggest job is to grow personally. Identifying your weaknesses and publicly fixing them will inspire those who work for you more than anything you can do. And the best part of this is that when you succeed, your whole team succeeds.
5. Invite your team to solve problems. Ok, so now that you’re the boss, guess who’s accountable whenever anything goes wrong. That doesn’t mean you have to fix everything though. But, maybe if you set the standard and do some of the heavy work, you’ll see much more cooperation. Your team really does want to help you out. They’ll be glad to pitch in for the benefit of everyone. Of course, if you have someone who doesn’t want to do his or her part, you need to motivate or remove. Either way, you and the team will move forward.
6. Listen-don’t talk so much. Since you’re the boss, you do have a lot of experience that will help your team be successful. That doesn’t mean you have all the answers. You don’t want to shut down the team’s thinking. If you have all the answers, there’s no reason for the team to think. They’ll just depend on you for all the answers. Try letting them work on the problems and coming up with their own solutions. Before the project starts, maybe a Pow-Wow is in order to get everyone’s input. Ask questions to get them thinking, and then listen closely just to be sure things are staying on track. It may take a little longer to get to where you need to be, and you may see some failures, but every time they win or loose, they learn and get better.
7. Make it personal. People work so that the rest of their life can be in balance. Your team members should be dedicated to you and to the company because it gives them pride and self respect. Treat them with the praise, gratitude and interest in their well being that they deserve. If you don’t, you may not have too many great team members to appreciate what an awesome boss you are. It’s amazing sometimes how far a pat on the back, or an “attaboy” will go.
Does this describe you? Are you that amazing boss we all want to be? Talk to your teams and let them know that you want what’s best for them, because that’s how you all grow. Then do one more thing to insure your amazingness: Listen to them.