January 24, 2022

Leadership Coaching Lesson for the Week: How to Be a Great Boss

Are you a great boss? It's tougher than you think!

Okay, so I got this article today about all of these academic lessons on how to be a great boss.  They included terms like strategic agility, cultural transformation and quantity of output. It was a great article, because I got a 45 minute nap after reading 3 paragraphs.

I am so TIRED of these articles, and I bet you are too!

At the end of the day, this is really simple.

Over the last ten years in the world of leadership coaching, here is what I have found to be true over and over again.  To be a great boss, you have to be able to give people what they want from their boss.  Here is what about 97% of the people I have interviewed have said they want from their boss:

1.  A boss who truly cares about the employees of the company. If you don’t care, your employees won’t either.  So model that you care.

2.  A boss who cares less about money and more about relationships. If you are all about the $$$ and the bottom line, people can smell it 50 miles away. In this day and age, people can smell it 30,000 miles away.  (If you haven’t heard yet…the internet has made the world a very, very small place for us to dwell).  If you care about money more than relationships, you will not only alienate your employees, you will lose customers.

3.  A boss who lives the belief that “the rules that apply to the company employees apply to me as well!”.  Simply because you are the CEO does not entitle you to privileges (sorry to be the bearer of bad news).

4.  To show up on time. In the last ten years, about 50% of the staff meetings I have attended have been delayed because the CEO is late.  They rush in…15 minutes late…huffing and puffing,  papers flying out of briefcases and folders and making all sorts of excuses about why they are late.  I am always entertained by the eyes rolling around the room.  If you are late to meetings, you are sending the message that your time is more important than the people who are in the room.  Not good!

5.  A beginner’s mind. If you are the top dog, it is important to show both credibility AND to show that you are open to the most simple concepts.  If you are a “know it all”, you will alienate people both right and left.

6.  Acknowledgment. I met a CEO one time who said “I don’t like him…he needs too much praise!”  While this CEO may have had a point, here is my point…everyone needs acknowledgment…as a matter of fact, we are craving it.  So why not give it?  It only takes 15 seconds to say “You know John…you really helped out yesterday on the project for the Smith account.  Your “take charge” attitude is just what we needed to get the job done and on time, and it helped us all go home earlier to our families.” It’s one thing to say “Hey…buddy…good job!”  It’s another to acknowledge someone for what they did and how they impacted the rest of the team.  Give it a try…it may just be your magic wand!

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