The Secret to Being a Better Boss Today
Everyone dreams of being a boss today. But if this wish has to do with bossing other people and simply not having a superior, then you know you are not the right person for the job. Being any kind of boss means, above all, carrying the hardest weight and having the most responsibility.
Although the crown is shiny, it is not cozy and covered in fur, but heavy and cold. Not everyone can cope with this weight of responsibility. As it is for any position, there are some things that one should be able to fulfill in order to be a good boss.
The climate of the work always changes and everyone should be able to follow, but most of all “the leader of the pack”. Adjustment and flexibility are probably key for delivering the best results being a boss.
It is hard to stay in this position long because things always change unpredictably, and you have to be ready to react in the right way. The ones who manage to stay the longest are also the best.
Contrary to naive belief, this position is definitely the toughest. That’s why it requires constant and full effort, this is practically the first thing in the job description.
But being a good boss is a very hard, complex and delicate task. And a part of that task is actively conversing with oneself: “What am I doing right now?”, “Am I making good decisions?”, “Are my employees happy?”, etc.
Because of this, even the best need advice and orientation from time to time. Here we have some suggestions or reminders of how to actively improve as a boss nowadays.
A GOOD BOSS SHOULD INDUCE RESPECT, NOT FEAR
A big part of being a boss is representing an authority figure for your employees. But the right and healthy outcome of authority is respect, not fear.
In order to be respected you ought to show responsibility, take initiative and work for your staff and with them, rather than tending to exploit them to work as much as possible. The best results come through teamwork, and every team needs a leader.
The leader should guide and be the brain of the operation, but it can’t work unless it’s in harmony with other parts of the organism. Work is a kind of organism and in order for it to function, it needs harmony. The boss’s role itself (if carried out right) results in respect, but this should be taken as natural, as an indicator that you are doing a good job.
Fearful employees can be obedient and can deliver the necessary work for a long while, but in the long run, just any relationship based on fear can’t last.
Being strict can be one of the ways to run things, but even then, that attitude should be implemented along with suitable motivation. The best employer-employee relationship is based on mutual respect because they actually help each other.
As the employee’s job is to fulfill the employer’s needs, it is very much like that vice-versa.
Of course, it is much easier to be feared than respected. Respect is real, it is based on trust, admiration and, among all, it is a reflection of success. While contributing fear really represents a mask of an employer’s own fear of failure.
The most important thing is that respect defeats fear drastically when it comes to collective productivity, and this is the only thing that matters at the end of a working day.
Fear is one extreme, but it is not desirable to be too easy-going either.
You can be friends with your employees, but it is better to try to simply maintain a friendly relationship. Business is business, after all.
Sometimes, the best way to measure one’s skills as a leader is to look at their subordinates. It can deliver a more real, more objective view of what’s happening in a bigger picture. If your employees are happy if they are doing a great job, and above all, if you feel a sense of respect from their sides, it is very likely that they are under the influence of good management.
GREAT BOSSES ARE MASTER COMMUNICATORS
One of the most important leadership qualities is striving to be a master of communication. Communication is the epicenter of operating management because being able to practice things in accordance with the needs of the staff and the market requires understanding both.
A good boss is able to communicate his ideas in specific ways to specific areas in order to find a mutual language with the ones who will help him to bring those ideas to life. But the same goes the other way around.
Listening is as important as speaking. When people recognize that you are equally interested in what they have to say as you are in sharing your own ideas, they will see real potential in you. Being a great communicator is only partly about speaking well. The other part is about being a good listener.
Every relationship grows on the foundation of communication, this also applies to partnerships and business relations. Actively communicating about not only the expectations of your employees but also about their needs, desires, and ideas is equally important.
As already mentioned, master communicators are great listeners and listening is maybe even more important in this matter because it builds a path to trust that is key in any teamwork. And never forget, the boss is not much more but a part of a team!
Underestimating the power of the crew and overestimating your leadership position can lead to an imbalance of power that monades of the group carry and very possibly end in failure.
Therefore, maintaining a mutual language in a business can bring any ideas to reality, resolve any conflict, cross any obstacles, as long as everyone is willing to listen as well as share. And the leader is the one who needs to set an example of how it’s done.
GAUGE THE SITUATION
If the rest of the team has two eyes and ears by a person, you, as a manager, are supposed to have a double pair of eyes and ears wide open. Let’s take a hypothetical situation of starting a project.
Before going into this process, it is your job to evaluate the abilities of the team, the challenge before them and the real potential of success, as well as the possible obstacles on the way.
According to your evaluation, it is to be decided, before anything, if it is smart to take on the challenge, and then how it is going to be developed – who will be in charge of what. It is important to set the goals and expectations in the beginning because that will represent guidance through the rest of the project.
Anyway, alternatives should also be thought out in advance as vital options if something doesn’t go as planned – as it usually is. It is completely natural for things to step out of bounds of the thought-out situation.
You should plan and never give up on ideas and ambitions, but, unfortunately, the reality is that most of the time it is not smooth-sailing. But this shouldn’t discourage you, because among the best benefits of being in charge is having your people who will support you and the effort, creativity, and courage always result in success in the end.
After taking on a project, you should also do some part of the work, but have in mind that your most important task here is surveillance over the whole situation.
Here is the part where planning from the beginning becomes a picture in reality. Or, in other words, if the picture of the way the project is evolving and the picture of the plan are matching, that is good and that state should be maintained.
On the other hand, if things are not going well, there is no other person at this point who will provide possibilities and ideas to fix the situation. There are worst-case scenarios where it is a good decision even to give up on the whole project, but with good planning and trustful employees, this is a rare possibility.
Finally, even upon the successful finished work, it is desirable to reunite and take another look into implemented techniques, working methods, organization, and overall impressions and notions about what has been done. Nothing less goes for the failed projects and ideas.
In this scenario, it is probably even more important to sit down with the crew and understand the crucial mistakes and oversights. This is simply general experience which consists of both good and bad scenarios.
Experience is the best source of wisdom and intuition that are the most valuable qualities to have in any field of work and those are the qualities that make the best leaders, and therefore, the best decisions.
Every success and failure should serve as an example of what to do and what not to do and this mindset is to be delivered from the mind of the leader to the rest of his team.
PROVIDE THE MOTIVATION TO GET DESIRED RESULTS
In order to get the best results, which depend on the attitude and enthusiasm of the whole team, you have to radiate the energy that will be embodied in your workers. Just your enthusiasm can boost and empower the work of the people who follow your guidance.
Of course, the best motivation is a bigger salary or costly rewards, but these are actually some of the easiest and in a way very temporary means of motivation. Just having a mindset of honest enthusiasm and generosity in a general, broader sense will translate into trust on the side of your workers.
If they know their effort and good work will be appreciated in the right way, they will always know what they’re working for. Therefore, this will always give the best results.
Try not to always have in mind just to finish a project and end up with as much individual profit in a short turn. Investing in the work of your employees as much as into your own work and ideas will give you the best results.
Because, really, you wouldn’t have anything by yourself, so you depend upon them in a very real way. Having this in mind, never neglect your staff because the work that you share is set somewhere between you and them, planted in a net that goes beyond your guidance.
They really can’t do anything without you, and you can’t do anything without them. But, the truth is, that you depend on them more than they depend on you. Never forget this, and keep your employees happy.
As the good work should always be rewarded, mistakes shouldn’t be ignored either, even the small ones. Constant criticizing can be demotivating, but constructive criticism, or even a warning, is even more than welcome.
Working with people, a most variable spectrum of scenarios is possible, and as a boss, you should be ready to see the most pleasant and unpleasant surprises from the side of your staff.
To wrap it up, everything should be treated in a corresponding way and the enthusiasm that is wanted to be seen in the eyes of the workers must ultimately come from their leader.
It is pretty hard to imagine a successful, energetic crew with a leader who represents the opposite of these things.
Motivation can come in many ways, financial, creative, social, even remembering your employee’s birthdays. The truth is that the manager has to keep in mind all of his (or her) people, while they are all usually ultimately concerned with him (or her).
GREAT BOSSES ARE ENGAGED IN ORGANIZING TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Organizing team building activities can itself be one of the best sources of motivation and inspiration for the work team.
This custom brings various kinds of benefits. Most of the people will grow to love good team building activities, but it often seems hard to start this tradition because there is no organizer in sight.
Introducing an interesting team activity will influence the corporation’s abilities of the group and will build a friendly vibe within the group. Workgroups that organize some kind of building activities differentiate from others with a completely different type of bond that is strengthened over the course of activities.
That bond can be felt in everything that the team does together, the communication among the group rises to another level and doing any business becomes almost like a natural friendly team play.
What will be the most suitable team building activity depends on the type of people and can also be in some kind of relation to the type of work itself. Therefore, these activities vary very much.
Finding the best one for your team involves not just knowing your employees, but also exploring. For extreme enthusiasts, the right activity can be very much related to work, but it can be as simple as a monthly visit to the movies or a plain board game.
Being the organizer of a quality team-building time that everyone loves can bring the love and respect of your employees on a much deeper level. This is the opportunity for you to meat each other and your qualities in a different light, in a scenario different from work.
That is also a good ticket for you to meet your colleagues and maybe even discover some of their qualities, or even flaws, which can turn out to be useful at work.
Team activities always bring people together, and for a group of people who work together, it can be a great ice breaker.
Because, not rarely, coworkers never manage to relax around each other and this can inhibit much creative potential and stand in way of the best possible results.
A GOOD BOSS HAS EXCELLENT SOFT SKILLS
This is basically a summary of the most important points and criteria for a leader. You can have enormous knowledge about your work, be a master of your field, but this, luckily or unfortunately, is not the most important criteria for being a successful boss.
Even though the best knowledge of your field is always desirable, prerequisites for reaching and maintaining the top position are somewhat different. Skills that are important to be a good leader or a manager are mainly social.
Because the managing business 90% of the time is dealing with people, resolving problems and conflicts, being ready to act and react in the right way and at the right moment. Basically, knowing how to manage people.
People who are rich with soft skills are the best leaders because they can be described as socially and emotionally intelligent, easy for cooperation, and most noticeably, they have their way with people. Most important soft skills are:
- Communication Skills
- Teamwork abilities
- Leadership skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Work ethic
These virtues are crucial when it comes to being a leader. Just them alone can sum up and be enough for the answer to the question that is set with the title.
BEST BOSSES NEVER CEASE TO LEARN
The smartest people reach the best results in any field and any position. Having a privilege to be the boss is a respectable accomplishment itself, but everything and everyone always changes.
To change for the better, and therefore be a better leader and for long, it is equally important never to become pretentious and stay open-minded. Listen to advice, learn from the better and the best, never stop finding ways to improve even when it seems that you reached your peak.
The very moment in which you cease to learn about new methods that can make you better is the beginning of your decadence.
Change is inevitable and inherent for all things, this why you always have to be ready for various scenarios and outcomes, this is why you can often hear “not to count on anyone”, but sometimes we forget that we also are a part of the process of changing.
To ensure your success even from yourself, always be aware of your own, individual progress in the same way you observe how things around you change. Learn about yourself actively as you learn about everything and everyone around you, because, ironically, we all tend to lose ourselves from our sights much easier than we think.
Never forget that, wherever you are, you and your progress are the creators of your success and accomplishments.
The secret to being a better boss today is not very different from the universal norms of leadership. If you want to be the best leader in any way, in any field, including work, never dance with neglecting your staff, never get out of sight of their needs and desires.
And also, never get out of sight their reactions, because your successes (or failures) as a boss will be mirrored in the people who work for you and their overall success (or failure).
Half of your work as a leader lies in treating the people you are leading, and the other half has to do with your own growth in both a professional and personal manner. The best leaders are masters of social skills because the position of a boss is above all a social, people-managing job.
It requires enormous mental energy mostly in the areas of social intelligence, patience, even intuition. Leading people is a very delicate process that in a way inevitably means “going with the flow”, but there are some rules and guidelines that are always applicable for the aspect that was already mentioned as very important – self-improvement.
Your all-time goal is to represent authority and by no means a source of fear. Strive to perfect your communication skills because it is maybe the most important one for your job.
Be insightful about any project, or idea, or suggestion that you meet with, maintain that awareness through the realization of it, and, even after completion, take a look into what you have done. Be the source of enthusiasm and motivation that you want to see in your staff.
Be a developer of teamwork activities that will affect your workers positively and indirectly light up the working atmosphere. Have in mind the importance of soft skills and never cease giving your best to improve them, as well as yourself in general.
Keep learning and finding ways and suggestions that help you become better in all aspects of you, just as you are doing now by reading this article. As long as you do that, success is guaranteed. And, of course, have faith – in yourself, and in your team.