You have worked for enough different people over the course of your career to know that it’s not only a question of WHAT you do – it’s also WHO you work for can also make all the difference.  Having a good boss not only makes your life easier, it allows you to do your job better.  A great boss supports you and wants you to have success.  They will help you put down roots and grow within an organization, instead of driving you to look elsewhere for opportunities.

The way you manage shapes the work experience of your employees.  So lead… inspire… and be the boss you’ve always wanted for yourself.   There are many different management styles, but here are five sure-fire ways to help your people perform better.

  1. Be Average.  Managers who are too assertive tend to micromanage and undermine their employees’ best efforts.  Those who are not assertive enough fail to inspire or encourage employees to take risks and go outside of their comfort zone.   Neither approach is a good option.  A management style that is right in the middle will help you get the best out of your staff.
  2. Urgency not Emergency:  Great bosses never stop trying to improve, and they foster a culture of always wanting to do better.  A sense of urgency is a work ethic, not a cause for alarm.  Good bosses do not need to cause stress or panic to get results.
  3. Sweat the Small Stuff.  You may have big goals, but there are a lot of small successes on the way to reaching them.  Recognize these mini-milestones and celebrate them.  Smaller goals are not only more attainable, they help employees to see the importance of their participation.  So break bigger projects into smaller pieces that can be handled with clarity and confidence.
  4. Stop Talking and Start Listening.  Management is not a dictatorship, yet bosses often become more focused on issuing directives than in maintaining an open line of communication.  You have hired smart people, so be open and accessible to what they have to say.
  5. Protect and Defend.  Great bosses protect their people.  They advocate for their needs and do what they can to make their work experience as positive as possible.  Have your employees backs and they will have your when you need them… and at some point you will need them.

Being the boss has very little to do with “bossing” people around.  It is about motivating the people around you to WANT to do what needs to be done.  And remember, you can have fun and still get the job done.

Be the kind of boss you aspire to be.  One who inspires respect, loyalty and productivity.  And above all else, be approachable.  Create an environment where it is safe for employees to think differently, to challenge the way things have always been done, and to take risks.

Encourage your people to push themselves harder and farther than they are comfortable with.  Remind them that it is OK to make mistakes – after all, no one ever learns a valuable lesson by doing something right.

Being a great boss does not involve making grand gestures or giving powerful, motivational speeches (although that’s fine now and again too).   A truly great boss makes a million small gestures that consistently demonstrate support and encouragement — day in and day out.

Ask Yourself…

Are You Great Boss?

Have you talked more or listened more today?

Is there an opportunity to celebrate a small victory this week?

How can you encourage your employees to take risks without fear (hint: lead by example)