In the previous three posts, we looked at 6 types of lousy bosses and what you can learn from a lousy boss. Today, I want to look at 5 ways to not be that lousy boss, The Human Leader way.
Long time readers will recall that there are 5 core values of The Human Leader: Be Honest. Be Open. Be Fearless. Be Humble. Be Real. Practicing these core values is a sure way to NOT be a lousy boss. Here are 5 ways of applying these principles in the real world of leadership.
- Be Honest – As the leader, you encounter myriad situations every single day. Take an honest self-assessment of your energy level, remaining mental bandwidth and problem solving ability. Do you need a break? Should you take a walk to clear your brain? Are your decisions late in the day as strong as in the morning? AND your emotional state is just as important. Did this latest issue (whatever it might be) come from that same complaining employee who walks in your office every day? Did you just get a distressing call from your significant other? You need to be honest about your emotional state and how it could be affecting you. After all, your human too.
- Be Open – If the self-assessment you just completed is clean (or clean enough), you as the leader are much more able to be open to the next thing that crosses your desk, or the next unexpected phone call you receive. Strive to be open to the feedback you might receive. Be ready to face the next challenge with openness to ideas that are different than yours.
- Be Fearless – Fearless does not mean foolhardy. It means being courageous in the face of resistance, both inside your head or from outside sources. If you have been honest with yourself and others, and you have been open to feedback and different approaches, then make your decision and be fearless in your implementation of the decision. You don’t have to ride roughshod over others once the decision is made, but pursue the outcome with confidence and courage.
- Be Humble – All the while stay humble. Because you’re human, you will make mistakes. You might respond poorly, cut someone off mid-sentence or dismiss an idea without thoroughly considering it. Humbly accept that you’re not perfect, that you make the wrong call sometimes and then work to change direction or make amends if necessary.
- Be Real – The people who report to you want to know that you are human. They don’t think less of you because you make a mistake, in fact, the good employees respect you more for it (Hint: if they don’t, you might need new direct reports). The challenge is always the balance. People you’re leading also need to know that you have things under control. That errors are fixable and you will all work together to get things back on track. So, acknowledge the blunder, take ownership and move on. No need to wallow in the muck.
I hope you find these ideas helpful. I know it helped me to sort through it by writing it all down.
As always, let me know what you think. [reminder]
Oh, and if you enjoyed this, would you do me a favor and share it on your favorite social media platform?
Until next time remember: It’s not lonely at the top anymore.