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15 Key Ingredients for Becoming the Best Boss
Here’s our top 15 picks for what makes a great boss:
You understand that your employees make up a great part of the success of you and your company.
-Failure to understand that your employees have a valuable contribution toward your own or your company’s success is a recipe for disaster. Failure to recognize that your employees make up the core of your business and its accomplishments also leads to under-appreciated and unhappy employees.
You know how to delegate to your employees…and then actually leave them alone to do the work.
-Warren Buffet said, “hire well, manage little.” In other words, don’t micromanage your team. Don’t delegate tasks and responsibilities and then hover over your employees every chance you get to see if they are on task. Good employees want to be trusted that they can handle the job you’ve given to them.
You are appreciative of your employees and what they contribute.
-This means that you get to know them. Identify their unique talents and skills, then make the best use of those skills and talents in ways that will also contribute to the success of the company’s bottom line. Show appreciation for an employee’s efforts.
You communicate with your team.
-Don’t assume, don’t disappear into your office, and certainly don’t dodge or avoid issues that need to be addressed. You are the leader of your team and are looked up to as an example. This starts with fluid communication, openness, and honesty.
You are friendly and approachable.
-But not a doormat. You welcome feedback, are “one of the guys” (or gals) in most situations, but still manage to keep a good balance of respect. You are available to your team and willing to help out with something an employee is struggling with.
You know that you don’t know it all.
-Besides the fact that no one likes a know-it-all, you should have a sense of balance between what you know and what you are unaware or uncertain of. This is why you have other stellar employees on your team. They contribute different talents and knowledge and are confident that you will consult with them to offer their talents when appropriate.
You are a good and active listener.
-You truly tune in to what your employees are saying and offer good feedback. You allow them to fully process and develop their ideas and hear them out without interruption, which often stifles employee contributions.
You have empathy.
-This involves being tuned in to what is going on with your employees. You might not get involved in a heart-to-heart about Susie’s break up with her boyfriend, but then again you might. Use discretion about personal issues, but have a heart. Spending the majority of your time with your employees, showing that you aren’t all about the grind of work can help employees feel more at ease and comfortable around you and in the workplace.
You don’t mind doing “menial” tasks.
-Sure you’re the boss, but you’re not above doing the work. This also shows your employees that you are on the same team as they are and are willing to do what it takes to accomplish a common goal. You’re not only barking orders from your podium, you are a real person who doesn’t mind getting your hands dirty from time to time.
You thank your team.
-For their help, their contributions, for whatever. This simple step really goes a long way in expressing gratitude toward employees and contributes to greater degrees of employee satisfaction on the job.
You deal with issues quickly and effectively.
-As a leader you have to be effective at handling times of crisis and conflict in a cool and collected manner. If you are disciplining a subordinate, do so in a respectful and tactful manner, then let it be done with. If you are dealing with an outside issue, manage and control the problem without starting rumors or unnecessary drama about it.
You empower your team to make their own decisions and then support and back those decisions.
-You aren’t afraid of allowing employees to run their own show (as long as it’s in line with company objectives and values). You are not a control-freak who fears handing over the reins, but can appreciate that employees want to be involved and have a solid sense of contribution.
You have goals and a vision, for yourself, your employees, and the future of the company.
-You know where you came from and where you want to go. You have clear and measurable objectives for your team and yourself that will propel the company forward. You make these goals and objectives clear to your team so everyone is on the same page and knows what they are working toward.
You value self-improvement.
-You recognize the value in continuous improvement, learning, and personal growth. You realize that this mission also bleeds into your professional life and onto your staff, who you also encourage to grow and develop both personally and professionally.
You hold yourself accountable.
-You can take the hit for a mistake and own up to your flaws. You also can hold yourself to the same guidelines and standards that you have for your team. You show no favoritism toward yourself that you wouldn’t show toward an employee.
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