Are You a Good Boss?

Posted November 22, 2013 in Latest News & Insights, Leadership

I was reading a Maclean’s article called “Really Bad Bosses” when I was stopped in my tracks by the following:

“So what does make a great boss? Increasingly, it’s an ability to deliver results by teasing the very best out of employees – without screaming at them”

If I read this right, the article is suggesting we have just discovered that to get the best out of our team we should manage and motivate them and not scream at them. How an earth can they suggest this is a new idea? We have known for decades that managing is not about bullying. It’s about motivating, helping, working with the team.

So it got me thinking. Many of us who are business owners have not had the benefit of formal management training. We learn as we go; through trial and error. Not the best way to build a winning team but we do our best!

So here are some rules that will help you be a better manager. By the way, these rules apply if you are managing one person or a team of people.

Rule #1 – Stop calling your employees ‘human resources’ or even worse, human capital. And they are not “assets” to be bought and sold! They are people. They have lives and relationships; worries and fears. Each one is different and you must understand each and every one of them and manage them accordingly.

Rule #2 – Rid the team of a bad apple immediately. A bad apple not only provides you with stress and distress but it also causes angst in the team. Not to mention what the team thinks of a leader who puts up with a bad apple.

Rule #3 – Stop talking and start listening. Our friend and colleague Carrol Suzuki, listening expert and founder of, says it best: “Leaders, who are attentive and authentic listeners, get the best performance from their people and retain those people longer.”

Rule #4 – Be clear about your expectations. Acknowledge when they are met and act fairly and quickly when they are not being met. There is nothing more frustrating than having a manager who is vague and inconsistent in setting out her expectations.

Rule #5 – Don’t be their friend; they’ve already got enough friends. What they want is a fair manager and excellent leader. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out for a beer with them after work. But avoid gossip and tittle tattle about others in the organization.

You cannot grow a business on your own. You need to have an excellent team that is managed, motivated and lead by you. I would love to hear your thoughts. What do you think makes a good boss?

Nick Hughes
Your Planning Partners

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