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National Boss's Day – Don’t Boss, Be a Leader

Boss. I never really liked the term. I guess because I think of domineering, arrogant and tyrannical when I think of “Boss.” But it is National Boss's Day and a good opportunity for leaders to think about how they are perceived and for bosses and employees to close the gap that often is created between the Boss and employees.darth_vader.jpg

According to Wikipedia, National Boss's Day suggest that employees thank their “superiors for being kind and fair throughout the year." But being an effective Boss or Leader takes more than being kind and fair.

Leigh Buchanan at Inc Magazine offers five traits of great bosses, it is worth your while to go read them completely, below is a paraphrased version:

Great bosses get the small picture. Great bosses never forget that employees experience things locally. In words and action, great bosses take account of those perspectives.

Great bosses make people feel smart. Great bosses, when presented in a meeting or in private conversation with some a misguided idea,listen carefully for the tiniest germ of potential and can deftly transfigure it into something great so the employee believes it is still his own idea and walks away beaming.

Great bosses know who does what. Great bosses talk often with managers about how individuals are doing, but also about specifically what they're doing. Running into employees by the copier, such bosses make unforced appreciative reference to those recent accomplishments.

Great bosses know when they're not wanted. Even the most unassuming boss should recognize that in the glow of his attention employees become eager to impress, careful of their words, mildly uncomfortable. Give employees space.

Great bosses remember. Employees' hobbies. Their families' names. Who plays what position on the company softball team. Who is terrified of flying. Who has expressed interest in a leadership role.

That is great stuff.

But you’re not a boss or leader? How can Boss's Day help your career beyond bribing your Boss with box of chocolates?

DJ Mitsch, co-founder and president of the Pyramid Resource Group, an executive coaching firm in Cary, N.C., offers these suggestions for improving your relationship with your boss:

  • Understand your job is to help the boss win. Focus on doing a great job and explain to him or her that you understand the importance of success.
  • Listen for their best intentions. If your boss is delivering bad news, ask questions to better understand what it is that he or she needs. Help him or her build context for what should be communicated to others.
  • Tell the truth, as you see it, in a neutral way. Your boss wants to know what you think, even if there is resistance at first. If you have an idea about how to help the company improve, share it.
  • Schedule a time to meet if your boss doesn't schedule it for you. Take a notepad with you, an update of your work, and anything else you want to boast. Be brief in this meeting. If you schedule 30 minutes, take 15 and give time back.
  • Bless your boss on your way to work. Visualize a great meeting or communication exchange before you get to the office and manifest that through the day.
  • Stop gossiping, especially about your boss. It always gets back and usually without your context and intentions. Learn to turn away from the negative discussions people tend to spend too much time participating in.
Helping your Boss succeed, helps you succeed. Getting to know and appreciate the Boss will be good for your career at your current position and beyond.

2 Comments/Trackbacks

» National Boss’s Day – It Takes All Kinds from Know More Media
National Boss’s Day has rolled around again. Did you have October 16 marked on your schedule as the day to honor your boss? Or does your boss remind you constantly that he or she is worthy of your daily... [Read More]

» Hallmark Increases Boss's Day Card Production from MarketingBlurb
Today, I learned something new.  National Boss's Day was not invented by Hallmark or another greeting card company.  Actually, Boss's Day was created by Patricia Bays Haroski who registered National Boss's Day (in honor of her bos... [Read More]

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