Bosses need seriously big ears. There was once a politician that had really big ears, so he decided to use it in his campaigning. He had billboards with his hands behind his ears and the caption “I’m all ears” – priceless! Great bosses listen to their staff publicly, privately and officially (through staff surveys).
High energy thinking
I don’t mean the kind coffee gives you, I mean a mental and spiritual energy. You should know that your thoughts create your reality through the law of attraction. If your thinking is unhealthy then so to will your results be. Instead think big, think positive and think with high energy. Make sure you have high levels of self awareness. Learn all you can about yourself, your habits (good and bad), your downfalls and what you need for your mental and spiritual wellbeing. Use empowering language and always see the bright side – think solutions not problems.
Craziness (the great kind!)
Be fun and flexible. Remember your team are human’s first workers second. Do impulsive coffee runs for the team; remember to put fun into the working day. Don’t be strict, boring and stern. Be playful, happy and understanding.
Focus on results not hours
Give your staff trust and freedom. Don’t micromanage – checking they adhere to break times, monitoring the number and duration of personal calls. When staff have control over their work circumstances they become engaged. The authors of the book “Why Work Sucks and How to Fix It” educate businesses about ‘Results Only Work Environments’ (ROWE). Their systems are based on “the radical idea that staff are adults”. It is a shame the majority of businesses don’t already realise this!
A boss that has strong self discipline is more likeable and effective than one that is lazy and full of excuses. Self discipline shows in your attitudes to work but also in things like what you eat and if you exercise. If your staff see you stuffing a donut in your face every morning tea, KFC at every lunch and 16 coffees during the other working hours they probably won’t think you are a genius. Geniuses don’t feed themselves like that. People that are full of energy also adore the feeling of exercise – blood surging, muscles being pushed and lungs begging for mercy! Exercise and diet say a lot about a person. What you do (or don’t do) in your personal life has an affect on your working life.
I once met a boss who when he wanted to be taken seriously would raise his voice and yell at his staff. He thought this showed authority and ‘who was boss’. He didn’t realise however that this behaviour made staff lose the little respect they had left for him. They thought it was pathetic and a terrible tactic. On the other end of the scale, a boss from another department whom the team had a lot of respect for would speak with lowered volume when he wanted attention. He didn’t need to use scare or stand over tactics. He didn’t need volume to assert his authority. Staff can see right through ‘power seeking’ behaviours. You need to earn staff respect before they will take what you say seriously. If you are a yeller, maybe your self esteem needs attention.
With all the crazy new technologies like twitter, blogging, wikis, YouTube etc it is important to have a very open mind. There are also a gazillion management books around all promising something fabulous (The Boss Benchmark is of course magnificent!). Just like trees, we humans are either growing or dieing. Get yourself a healthy addiction to learning, it will be inspiring, keep you on the edge and give you a wide perspective. Maybe your team could try to learn something new each week – with a different person ‘coaching’ each time.
Susan Gunelius says
Great post, Allison! I love the “learning addiction” attribute. These days, a desire to keep learning is more critical than ever!
Scarlett de Courcier says
Allison, this is a brilliant post! The ‘Focus on results not hours’ heading really hit home for me. My job allows me to go to the office three days a week, arrive halfway through the day because I live far away, and spend the other two days working from home; but they don’t mind, because the work is always done.
Like breeds like; putting trust in employees makes them see you as more trustworthy in return.
I couldn’t agree more!
Allison O'Neill says
Thanks Susan, yep learning should never stop! Not everyone has a mind open to it though.
I’m glad you agree Scarlett, your work arrangement sounds great, people in your position tend to go the extra mile in their work, BECAUSE they feel so trusted and respected.