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Are you a Boss or a Leader

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by Donna Stone (follow)
Donna Stone, author of Stepping Stones ® Series Trilogy
Business (103)      Boss (13)      Leader (12)     
Boss or Leader by www.LumaxArt.com

If you are running a business and have a team working for you, then guess what – you are a boss. Although I would like to suggest you think of yourself less as a boss and more like a leader.

Along the way I’ve heard employees talk about things that they hate about their boss. “My boss takes credit for my work”. “My boss comes in late, reads the newspaper and does no work”. “My boss has unreasonable expectations of me and definitely doesn’t appreciate me”. Yes, there are some less than amazing employees out there, but may I say – there are some dang good ones too! These comments have come from a spectrum of people.

Here are my suggestions (from someone with four businesses and over 25 staff):

Firstly, think like a leader. Do nothing you would not expect of your team. Do nothing that you would want your team to duplicate. If you lie to clients, try and rip them off and do the wrong thing by them, then please, do not be shocked when your staffs do the same to you. If you don’t expect your team to turn up to work late, roam into their office, put their feet up on the desk and proceed to scan the morning paper – then don’t do this in front of them. There is plenty of time earlier in the day to catch up on all the news. My team sees me sending emails at 5am, because that is when I start, and even at 9am, I don’t just rock back and put my feet up. When I’m at work, I’m at it 110%. If you are going out for a long lunch, don’t throw that in their face, instead you are “out for a meeting for a few hours” and certainly don’t return totally inebriated.

Secondly, be reasonable with your expectations. Giving a team member 20 tasks, each which will take an hour each, cannot be done “today”. Keep this up and one of two things will happen – they will quit or they will burn out and neither is a good option for any business. I’ve often found that tasks given to team at the last minute are a result of the leader’s disorganisation (or severe under staffing). So, organise yourself first, plan what you need to happen and give your team time to do their jobs. Last minute rushes usually also result in mistakes – another negative thing to bring into your business. If you are under staff consider starting a new person, even if it’s just part time or casual, in order to keep the work flowing effectively.

Finally – show appreciation! Let me share a secret with you. “Thank you” costs absolutely nothing. True appreciation of your team and regularly thanking them for a great job is such a minor thing, and in many staff surveys, feeling valued and appreciated ranks above money. Yes, a bonus or pay rise is appreciated, but feeling valued is as important.

Being a boss means taking on responsibility. Not only are you responsible for the strength of the business, but for the well-being of your staff. If you make a detrimental mistake, it’s not possibly just your livelihood, and that of your family, but that of all your team. Being a business owner with staff should not be taken lightly and as a boss, you should be leading your team by example and good behaviour.

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