There are many paths you might have taken to the “Big Desk.” Maybe you worked your way from the very bottom of the ladder, maybe you just put together a scrappy startup, or maybe you’re taking over the family business. No matter how you got here, congrats! You’re the boss. But you’ve probably already realized, wearing the boss’s shoes isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be!
Being the boss is more than, well, bossing others around. To successfully manage an organization, you’ll need to take a closer look at yourself.
Here are a few tips from our career experts on how to be a better boss:
Focus on the Positives:
Most employees tend to react best to positive reinforcement—so focus on that, rather than nitpicking every little thing they do that’s less than perfect. No one likes a micromanager. Instead of focusing on mistakes, notice the good that your team members do—and praise them for it. This type of environment really boosts morale. Not to say you shouldn’t correct wrongdoing—but focus on constructive criticism.
Identify Your Own Weaknesses:
A successful leader is able to identify—and rectify—his or her own weaknesses. Nothing will inspire and motivate your team more than seeing you owning up to and working to correct your shortcomings.
When you spend time with your employees—whether at work or outside of it—you should be yourself. If you’re not authentic, they’ll know. If you’re yourself, they’ll respect you more and be more likely to buy into the organizational culture you’ve created.
Someone who’s just the boss often inspires very little in their employees—except perhaps fear of losing their job. They’ll only do the bare minimum required of them to stay employed. But a true leader—someone who inspires their employees to contribute to the culture and truly be a part of the organization—will inspire their team to go above and beyond and reach their full potential. Be a leader, not just a boss.
Hire the Best—and Treat Them with Respect:
Even the best boss can’t be successful without a great team. Make sure your hires not only have the skills and experience you’re looking for, but goals and values that align with those of the organization. And don’t forget to treat every employee at every level of the company as a colleague. After all, you’re all in this together.
Get Help When You Need It!
Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance! We recommend that you spend time networking with your peers – other bosses who manage firms that are similar in size and scope to your own enterprise. We also recommend you hire a professional HR advisory firm to help you with your most important assets: your people. If you’re in the Charlotte area, we hope you’ll consider getting in touch with our HR Advisory team.