Like A Boss

Remember the days when you knew you could do your boss’ job better than he/ she was doing and you thought to yourself, ‘if I had my own company, this is not how I would run things!’  Now you are at the helm of your company, calling the shots and running joint.  And it couldn’t be better.  Besides, if you have to be under someone’s thumb, wouldn’t you rather be under your own?  But the truth is, you might be a little concern about how to run things your own way.  After all, all the managerial experience you encountered has been on the other end as an employees only vicariously watching what your boss does day in and day out.  And if you didn’t like your boss, that’s probably who you don’t want to reference.   In that case then, how to you do better than what you knew and experienced?

For starters, don’t manage, LEAD.  People follow by example.  Managers tell you what to do, but a leader will show you.  A leader makes a better boss than a manager.  Secondly, mentally step back in those shoes as an employee.  Reflect on the bad and good experiences you had with your previous bosses and let that be your cue to how you will run your ship.

Upset Employee

  • Reward and Reprimand in private.  Never take an issue you have with an employee on the floor.  It lowers morale, it’s degrading to that employee, makes you look like a tyrant to other employees and if you have customers on the floor, it looks tacky.  Even if you’re giving this an employee an award, let it be their business.
  • Never talk down to your employees.  Did you like it when you employer or boss talked down to you like you were a child or a simpleton?  No one does.  Break the cycle.
  • No matter how busy your are, remember to say ‘thank you’.  People like to be acknowledged even for the little things they do.  In the most mundane job, people need a little thank you to know they’re valued.
  • Along, with saying ‘thank you’, a ‘good job’ goes a long way too.  How often have we seen a former employer or boss jump down someone’s throat for a poorly done job, but barely bat an eye for something that was exquisite?  They may seem like words to you, but people really like hearing them spoken.  So if you can speak them often.  On that note…
  • Raise the standard to EXQUISITE.  Expect that your well trained and highly knowledgeable staff are going to do their job wonderfully time after time.  It’s easy, just…
  • EMPOWER them.  Make your employees feel as if everything they’re doing for your business matters (and it better!) I don’t care if they’re making copies or answering the phone.  Those jobs need to get done by someone competent and self-assured and that’s them.
  • Don’t be afraid to get in the trenches with your employees.  This separates you from being just their boss to being their leader.  Also, if you’re showing them how to get the job done and having them do it along with you, it puts your mind at ease as to whether or not they’re doing it right.
  • Encourage open exchange.  If one of your employees has an idea to how to do something more efficiently, welcome the idea, don’t shun it.  An employee who is willing to help your company is also making an investment in your business just as you are.  And not too many of them come around.

Along the way you’ll find you groove in how you’ll lead your employees, what works best for you and what works for them.  Just keep in mind not to fall in the habit of poor manager behavior.  This isn’t your job, this is your company.  How you take charge will determine the determine direction and how far you’ll go.

(photo credit: marin via freedigitalphotos.net)

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