To me, being a great boss is a talent, a learning process, and a challenge all in one. You have to be the ultimate multitasker, quick thinker, and always bring your A game; everyone is counting on you. So here we go. Here are my top 10 things that I think make a great boss; 10 things I am doing, practicing, and making consistent.
1. Realize that everyone has a different learning pace
Not everyone is a quick-learner or adjusts to change at the same pace you do. When changes need to be implemented, as they do more frequently than you think, having a plan to incorporate the change is key. For large process changes, have 3 dates in mind that correlate with stages of implementation. For example: weeks 1-2 the team is trained and assisted by management, weeks 3-4 the team should be implementing the changes themselves and questions or kinks should be addressed, weeks 5-6 everyone on the team is only using the new process and mishaps are minimal or none. Whatever your timeline is, make sure your trainers are aware of the goals and use the timeline as a way to track process and learning ability.
2. Take time for yourself to reflect and evaluate your business
With the constant go, go, go, you need to take time and step back in order to see the future. Conduct a business checkup where you comb through all areas of your business to see how you are aligning with the company’s goals. Are you on track? Should a change be made? What are the next goals of the company?
3. Absorb success stories and lessons as much as you can
Podcasts and books are a great way to gain extra knowledge and tips for business. I personally am a huge podcast fan and flip between 4 business podcasts, listening to the trials and tribulations of other entrepreneurs. For one, it’s reassuring that there are plenty of people out there who went through the same business obstacles as you, and podcasts are a free way to get great insight.
4. Watch the money and plan accordingly
I cannot stress this point enough! I have personally seen businesses spend beyond their means and enter into bankruptcy and layoffs because of it. You know the 5 year plan you made? The one you should be reviewing often? Make sure you have financial minimums in there that correlate with your growth goals.
5. Be the best example
The A team doesn’t follow a B team leader. This is obviously a no-brainer, but you cannot expect your team to perform the way you want if you aren’t setting the example. Be on time, be professional, always be learning, and complete your tasks. Be an A+ leader to get the A team.
6. Be understanding but not a push-over
We are all human and sh*t happens, but there is a fine line between excuses/explanations and poor time management. Learn to decipher which is which. Help your team to better time manage by first understanding their current process, then helping them tweak it so everything can run smoothly and on time.
7. Think ahead and avoid any possible dumpster fire
Always be thinking ahead by learning from the past and being strategic in the present. You should always be 2 steps ahead, or 5. This is how I always think when drafting contract terms with partners or anyone. Make sure you are protecting your business, employees, and reputation by seeing the big picture.
8. Be strict with deadlines
The late pattern is so easy to start and extremely hard to break. We have all heard the phrase “exception to the rule” and you do not want that mentality as a business. Making deadlines won’t just keep your business functioning, but it will help keep a solid reputation to your clients and partners.
9. Ask for feedback and new ideas from your team
A great leader, boss, CEO, fills their team with those they can learn from. Create a mastermind group of upper level or c-level employees (depending on how your business is set up). Getting great minds in one room, with a well-organized agenda, and you can’t tell me your business won’t benefit.
10. Back up what you want with a reason
I wish it were true, but no one is a mindreader. Explaining your vision, why it’s important, why certain steps are necessary, etc., needs to be clearly stated to your team. When everyone has a perfect understanding of the goal, you’re more likely to achieve it.
Written by Eva Gerrits