Written and Contributed by Vee Macalisang
There are horrible bosses. These are the people whose mere presence alone changes the atmosphere at work in a negative manner. The same people who seem adept at squashing your desire to do your best at work.
But then, there are also good bosses. Bosses who uplift you rather than make you feel terrible about yourself. Bosses who know how to make you feel integral to the company rather than inconsequential. Bosses who treat you as a valuable asset rather than redundant and easily dispensable.
You’d be very willing to move mountains for the latter ones. You’d be more than glad to go the extra mile just to make and keep them happy since you feel that that’s the least you can do in exchange for the superb work atmosphere, not to mention all the great things they had done for you.
A horrible boss makes you think of creative reasons to avoid going to the office the moment you wake up.
A good boss makes you feel excited to report to work every day. The office becomes a beautiful and exciting place you look forward to going to on an almost daily basis.
People who have worked with both types of leaders at some point know really well the huge effect their boss’ management style and attitude towards employees can have in the workplace.
I came across Jamie Irvine’s article entitled “The Leadership Lid” recently, and I cannot nod my head enough in agreement to the fact that some people are just better leaders than others.
The influence of nature and nurture does play a major role in the development of a “good” leader, and there has never been a greater demand for those types of leaders more than today.
People leave their bosses, not their companies.
Sure, employee turnaround is normal when you’re in business but if it becomes more frequent and consistent than the usual, that becomes a problem because hiring new employees is far more costly compared to keeping existing ones.
If we really want to keep the truly talented people in our team, bosses should definitely strive to be good leaders rather than the opposite. They can start doing that by improving their relationship with their employees.
That epiphany gave me the push to write this article.
I consider myself blessed because I have a great boss right now.
I’m honestly, literally, enjoying every minute of our interactions.
Don’t get me wrong though. My current boss is not perfect. She can be cold and calculating sometimes.
But her leadership and management skills are truly notable. It eventually endeared us to her and in effect, to our work – not to mention how it becomes a huge contributing factor in making our work environment positive, productive, and dynamic.
What makes her different from the rest?
Well, she doesn’t give us over-the-top incentives or an advance 15th-month bonus (although we would appreciate it if she would lol).
She does three little things though that really stood out to me. These are just small day-to-day actions, easily overlooked by one person because it may appear insignificant. Even I didn’t understand the potential it could do at work, not until I observed my boss apply it on a consistent basis and saw how it has affected our day-to-day operations for the better.
What is it that she does?
She gives us the freedom to be creative.
Before tackling a project head-on, we first discuss the framework, end goal, and other necessary details. When it’s apparent that all expectations have been leveled and all cobwebs cleared, she would leave us to do our own magic on the project.
She doesn’t control the rudiments of how we do it, nor checks about its progress more often than necessary. She makes it clear that she understands that each of us has a specific skill set we bring to the team and entrusts us to do our own share of the work.
For people who work in a demanding, robust environment that’s constantly changing to keep up with the times, the trust and the freedom she gives us is something we really appreciate. It allows us to be less afraid to spread our wings.
It allows us to trust ourselves, our skills and capacities more as well.
She knows my name.
This may be very simple, but it affects me in a huge way.
My boss knows my name – especially the given one. She calls me by it.
When I go to her office to talk about a certain issue or concern, she stops everything she’s doing and gives me her full unadulterated attention.
I know managers/leaders have a lot of things on their plates, but the fact that she considers me a priority enough to be given a portion of her time gives me a feeling of importance and makes me feel that my opinions are worth listening to. It makes me feel empowered. It validates me. It’s a form of confirmation that I am making a valuable contribution to the company; that what I am doing, no matter how minuscule it may seem, is indeed something. That knowledge, I have come to notice, affects how I do my work in a positive way.
She communicates clearly and is transparent.
During group meetings and before we start a project, she makes sure we understand the eventual outcome of what we are working on. She makes sure we understand the expectations, the timetable of a certain project, the flaws and loopholes of the system, of the organization, and of each other that we need to watch out for.
She’s transparent on what she expects of us and the techniques she wants to pursue while working on that goal. Thus if we start to work, we know where we are going and we know what’s happening. It lessens confusion and allows us to prioritize the things that really matter and require immediate attention.
Additionally, my boss would be the first person to admit if she doesn’t know a certain aspect of the work, that’s why she enlists our help on the matter. She doesn’t squirm on informing people of her ignorance if it means we would do our job better and get things done.
Bosses can sometimes be adept in power tripping and putting themselves on the pedestal, so they would steer away from situations that would expose their Achilles’ heel. My boss is different.
She’s confident in her capacities; it doesn’t bother her if other people would know of the flaws within her system. I love her for that. After all, that’s what teams are for—complementing each other’s strength and weaknesses as you strive for one common goal.
She’s not perfect, but she’s something. And she’s a good team manager and player as well. Along with her other virtues she has managed to earn our trust, respect, and loyalty. I think that’s what every boss needs to earn from their employees, right?
Vee Macalisang loves to write content especially if it’s related to life, relationships, leadership, business coaching as well as education. She is working on improving her comedy and she wants to connect with you. Learn more about her work and services on her site: www.veemacalisang.com