I spent most of my life creating and running companies. However, when I developed a few important traits, I became a better boss.
Being the smartest person in the room
My first management job, I was a little nervous and trying to impress my boss and my staff by knowing everything. I was always challenging everyone at meetings and quoting from various business books. After a few meetings, the building’s chief engineer, who also attended our staff meetings, pulled me over to the side. He informed me in a humorous way that I wasn’t the only smart person in the room.
I took the advice and changed the way I interacted with upper management and my staff. Sometimes as a boss you think you are the only one with a great idea.
Seven Habits of a Highly Effective Boss
I was transferred to an account in Los Angeles that was experiencing high absenteeism and a morale problem. At first I was determine to evaluate just employees’ performances and disregarded everything else.
When I read the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, and it convinced me I had to practice being an active listener.
With this knowledge I scheduled meetings with all 60 employees and asked questions and listened. I addressed the employees’ concerns, and within months, morale blossomed and absenteeism fell to zero.
Leading by example
Respect is not given, it’s earned. If a job needed to be done, I was the first to do it. I never asked any employee to do a job that I wouldn’t do myself. If I want my employees to be on time, I have to arrive on time or even a little early. I had to earn respect. Employees hold you to your own standard. If you break your own rules, as a boss you won’t be effective and you’ll lose respect of your staff.
Treat people the way they want to be treated
Management is defined as “how to get work done through people”. My rule is treat people not the way you want to be treated but the way they want to be treated. Not every person has the same goals as you. Not every employee has the same personality or desires. While one employee might want as many hours as they can get a college student might only want to work at night.
Learn your employees’ needs and treat them respectively.