If you have spent a few years in your career then you must be leading a team now. If your management lets you lead a team much earlier then you must be exceptionally well qualified or proven yourself well in your profession. Congratulations in either case.
Many challenges to being a Good Boss
Leading a team is a sure sign of your professional worth and its recognition by the top management of the organisation you work for. At the same time, it a serious responsibility too in more than one ways.
Firstly, you are now answerable for not only your own performance but also for your team members. Secondly you shall be looked up by your juniors for guidance and support all the time. Thirdly, you shall have to step in to resolve conflicts, interpersonal communication problems and so on. And many more such issues and challenges would always be there.
It is not easy to be a Successful Boss
It is still more challenging to be a good boss who is loved by his team yet who can ensure that the team delivers month after month, quarter after quarter and year after year.
Defining a Great Boss at Office
For the purpose of this article let us agree to one meaning of the word Great Boss – a leader or a manager at office who is effective and productive as well as he is liked by his team.
How to be a Great Boss at Workplace
It is quite acceptable that each one of you will have a unique set of unique set of office circumstances, work conditions and targets to achieve. Yet the human behaviour
Effective bosses and managers tend to:
1. Be a master of the professional domain
This is the primary requirement. If you want your seniors to depend on you and your team of juniors to respect you then you have to have unquestionable authority on your subject. With top management’s confidence in your abilities you will draw power attached to the positions to wield authority over your juniors. Your subordinates will take you seriously and will neither challenge your position nor your authority because of your thorough knowledge of the subject.
In fact, they will often come to you respectfully to seek your knowledge, suggestions and help in letting them discharge their duties successfully.
2. Size up all your team members
Suppose you are the captain of a cricket or a soccer team. To win the game you must know each and every player well, his / her strengths and weaknesses, their temperaments, qualifications, experience and skills. This information will come in very handy in allocation of work and responsibilities. You will be successful in delegating the work and getting the right results too.
3. Empower your team members, delegate and assign clear responsibilities
These are three pillars of successfully getting productive results from any team under a boss or a leader or a manager. You can’t expect results if one of these three are missing. In the absence of clear division of work and the targets, the juniors will not know what to do and what not to do. Suppose they have been given targets but the respective roles are not defined then there are bound to be clashes and no co-ordination.
Similarly, if the roles and responsibilities are there but they are not empowered to take decisions or allowed to draw upon the resources, there shall be frustration and lack of motivation. May be some of them will come to you too often for permissions.
Therefore, empower them as per their capabilities (rule no. 2)
4. Provide strong leadership and a clear vision
The captain must steer the ship to its destination. If leader doesn’t share with its team where the company is headed or what are the department’s targets, how can the team mates know? You will need to give in clear terms the deliverables within the given time frame and what are the resources available to them.
Above all the communication has to be uniform, clear and crisp.
5. Be Dedicated but also do work life balance
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I have some great performers who are always passionate about their work; they live, eat and dream their work and strive to do the best work possible. They also drive their teams ruthlessly towards the achievement of targets. Yet at the same time, they have no personal lives outside of work and they expect their juniors to follow suit.
This is certainly not the work style of the good leader. A great boss will strive to strike a work life balance for himself and his team as well. Such a manager understands the need to balance family and work or play and work. He will set a good example of how to do that for his team mates.
6. Strike a balance between human values and human performance
The great bosses understand that there must be a fine balance between the company or department’s targets on one hand and a good working culture which respects the individuality and human values on the other hand. The clients or the stakeholders can be extremely demanding but the needs and the individuality of your employees can’t be compromised.
Though a tough task, but if you are successful at it continuously then you will be a adorable leader and a great executive of your company.
7. Be an effective decision maker and not micromanage
As per rule no. 3, hopefully you have done a good delegation of job. Now step back. Let them do their work. Give them space and don’t continuously breathe down their necks. Resist the temptation of spoon feeding your juniors or micromanaging.
The good bosses only keep themselves available for decision making, problem solving rather than interfere in the day-to-day and minute-to-minute workflow or processes.
8. Lead by example
Simply put you have to be honest. Mean what you say and do what you say. There’s nothing worse than a boss who says one thing and does another. You will be known and respected for keeping your words. As a manager you must earn the trust and loyalty of your team of employees from the core of their hearts.
9. Be flexible and receptive to new ideas
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Intelligence or creativity is not the owned property of a select few or the seniors only. A good idea or suggestion can come from anybody. Be open to such ideas and suggestions. Be flexible to try them out. It might just turn out to be one of the game changers. It is your quality of receptivity and flexibility which will encourage your employees to think and feel motivated to come and share them with you.
An idea can be worth a million dollars and it may not cost you anything.
Probably there can be many more traits of which make bosses – great bosses. But I’ve selected my top 10 tips – How to be a Great Boss at Workplace – based on my 2 decades of experience.
If you are a great boss or have a great boss then you are most welcome to share these traits and tips with us here.
You are welcome to write your thoughts in the comments below.