How to be a Great Boss – 4 Qualities of a Good Leader

Leaders/bosses are often suspected of doing a whole lot of nothing. “Oh, the jerk just dreams of something and schedules a meeting” – A typical employee’s mindset. They are often seen as the redundant piece in a team, atleast to the people not in the team. Well, here are 4 ways to be a great boss/leader for your team.

What are they responsible for?

What is their job?

How to be a good boss?

We bet these 4 ways could get satisfying results from your team, if not ‘out of this world’ results. And even if you’re a team member who reports to your boss, you should read this as well (to get an idea of why your boss rants always).

1.  Challenge Directly and Care Personally:

               This is an excerpt from the book “Radical Candor: Be a Kick-ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity” by Kim Scott. The core idea of this book is to be candid with those who report directly to you. Kim also explains that the word ‘Candid’ doesn’t mean that you have to embarrass a team member every time he comes up with an idea. Be brutally honest with the people reporting directly to you. We are often told, if you have nothing good to say, say nothing. This idea is not at all healthy for a professional team looking to go forward. You will feel like a jerk challenging people and telling them that their work just isn’t good enough. But here is a way to counter that feeling, probably the hardest part.

Show that you care for them, on a personal level.

Radical Candor – As explained by Kim Scott

Eliminate the phrase, “Don’t take it personally” from your mind. Tell them what you feel about their work and if you’re not satisfied, offer to help them. Take extra effort in developing them, one of the core ideas of Human Resource Management. More on that later!

2. Create a Culture:

               The employees who report directly to you may not be at the grassroot level of the organizational hierarchy. There might be an intermediate authority who take your ideas to the grassroot level employees. The way you behave and the way you challenge your subordinates has a ripple effect on their subordinates and so on. This is called culture. Google has one of the best cultures where you can even challenge Larry Page if you have a better idea. Larry encourages people to question authority, especially his. They relish this culture at google. This culture was cultivated by the founders when they encouraged challenging as a way to move forward. This was the exact reason why Sundar Pichai was chosen to be the CEO of the company – Zero ego and open to arguments. So encourage your subordinates to argue and challenge you and do not feel offended when somebody questions you. It is for the greater good.

3. Sit Back and Guide Them:

               Do not take this point for granted that once you’ve delegated work to your team members, you can sit back and enjoy your life like a boss – of course you’re a boss. But guiding your team to great results should be priority. Make sure that you don’t take up all the responsibilities on your shoulders and make people feel that they are an integral part of the system. One great example for a guiding leader is Steve Jobs. He was the founder of one of the leading and innovative tech companies in the world. But technical aspects were never his forte. He guided the technical team, the design team, even the marketing team. Sure he was too candid most of the time but the phrase, “It’s impossible but I still want you to try” did the trick most of the time. Be that beacon for your team.

4. Stop Being Professional:

               Yeah you are a professional, you are the boss, you are the leader. But that should not stop you from developing a personal relationship with people who report directly to you. In order to challenge directly, you should stop being professional and make sure that they trust you. This will definitely make it easier for them to take your criticism in a constructive manner and will make sure they do not feel alienated or embarrassed. More on the caring personally part! Caring personally doesn’t mean that you have to know their personal problems or solve those for them. It means to help them on their professional workfront, develop them into a professional – more importantly, a better person and in turn give them a chance to be a leader to their subordinates.

Bring your whole self to work

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