I almost added “Really?” in the title after “Are You a Good Boss?” I didn’t, only because it may offend some readers. However, there is good reason to ask the question and be honest with ourselves about the answer.
We have an obligation, yes, a duty, to our companies and to those with whom we work, and certainly to those who report to us, to be a good boss.
Good bosses = Good leaders
I love this often-quoted concept of Leadership:
“To inspire your workers into higher levels of teamwork, there are certain things you must be, know, and do. These do not come naturally, but are acquired through continual work and study. Good leaders are continually working and studying to improve their leadership skills; they are NOT resting on their laurels.”
Keep in mind that everyone wants to do well, to be successful. We, as good bosses, which should mean good leaders, should provide all the help we can. If the skills to help others succeed do not come naturally to us, we are obligated to work toward improvement. Actually, even if we are good at helping and developing others, we should still seek to improve. Striving for continuous improvement is the path to success.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it
Sure, some people have had their spirits dampened and have lost their motivation. Some may even seem completely resistant to our help. Yet, even if only in small, subtle ways, we can encourage and coach these people, provide guidance and inspiration to improve their confidence, and help get them motivated to do well and succeed.
It’s also true that sometimes our efforts may not work to our satisfaction; yet often we really can help and watch our people grow. That brings great satisfaction and significance.
Bosses need balance to lead effectively
I just finished the book, Heads, by Russell Reynolds. I have the privilege of knowing Russ and have the highest regard for his character and integrity. I am particularly pleased that he states that the most successful people have balance in their lives—a satisfying work life in the context of good health, a solid family life, good friends, and financial stability.
Russ follows with these qualities, which he feels are essential to business equilibrium:
- Feet on the ground
- Good values
- Direction, meeting expectations
- Consideration of others
- Good reflexes, knowing what is the important thing to do next
- Sound education
- Self-knowledge, self-awareness
Russ also mentions the importance of being a giver, helping others.
How do we know what kind of a boss we are?
With the obligation of a boss to be a good leader, I believe you also have a duty to determine if, in fact, you are—not just in your mind, but actually are—a good boss.
- More importantly, what is the perception of those with whom you work?
- How helpful do they feel you are?
- How much do they respect you as a leader?
Is it surprising to you that surveys reveal that more than half of the people in the U.S. do not feel they have a productive working relationship with their boss?
The most effective way to truly determine the perception of your effectiveness as a leader is definitely a 360 Assessment. It’s anonymous and confidential, so you can get thoughtful and honest assessments and you will learn what you do well and what you can do better. In sum, a 360 is a unique personal development opportunity. It’s a great investment!
Please know how important this subject is. Too many of us assume we are good bosses, yet those who work with us feel there are areas in which we could improve and be more helpful.
A 360 sets the opportunity to truly strive for continuous improvement. It takes humility, the acceptance that there are things you do that you could do better—and that leads to being a good boss and leader.