National Boss’s Day was started in 1985 in an effort to encourage employees to recognize their leaders and managers. For many employees in the workforce, the title boss has a neutral connotation. While for others, boss may conjure up some negative thoughts and feelings.
I had enough experiences with bad bosses by the time I became a leader in 1983, to know that I did not want to be called boss. I saw the title leader or manager as being the titles that brought with them the most respect.
Throughout my career, I was keenly aware of the word boss and encouraged the people I worked with to refer to me as either their leader or manager.
I still remember how excited the team I was working with in 1989 got when they celebrated National Boss’s Day with me. They were more than generous with their gifts and the refreshments. It was a fun celebration until I spoke to them all over the cake and punch.
I thanked everyone for their part in celebrating me as their boss, and then went on to share with my them my take on the word boss. It took the air out of the balloons, figuratively.
I saw the disappointment in their faces and did my best to repair the damage that sharing my biases had created. In time we came to find common ground on the title boss and they stopped using it altogether.
The team of employees went on to submit a nomination for me as National Employee of the Month. Their write up was thorough and referenced me as their leader. They were an awesome team of people who made a massive difference in my corporate career.
I define BOSS as someone who is in a leadership or management role, and they demonstrate the following behaviors. Belligerent, Overbearing, Stubborn, and Selfish. Each of these behaviors are typically associated with negativity.
Bosses, who are belligerent, most often demonstrate aggressive behaviors towards others and those others are the employees in the workplace. Aggressive behavior always leads to a winner and a loser, in this case the boss wins and the employee loses.
The aggressive behaviors led to a negative impact on the culture. They also lead to other challenges for the boss such as higher rates of attrition, lower performance, and inconsistent results. Employees are not likely to stay long term in organizations that have bosses who are out to win while putting the employees in a losing position.
Bosses, who are overbearing, usually put others off with their arrogance and domineering style. Being overbearing with others does not align with most corporate cultures which means that those bosses are also deceitful.
Domineering behaviors will only make the gap between the manager and employee wider, leading to lack of trust, respect, and loyalty. All of these effects will negatively impact the employee’s motivation to do the job that is required of them.
When a boss exhibits his or her stubborn side, they are alienating themselves from their employees. People do not feel good about being around stubborn people. Bosses will repel others with their unwillingness to try something new.
Another way stubbornness shows up with a boss, is in their resistance to change or anything new. Bosses are not willing to move forward with business trends or best practices. This impedes an organization’s ability to achieve maximum success.
It could be that a selfish boss might just be the hardest to deal with. Bosses who are only in it for themselves are not going to share of the recognition or feedback for a job well done.
Selfish bosses are only concerned with themselves and rarely take others into account. This creates a challenge for employees who want to respect and follow their leaders or managers. People are put off by those bosses who are centered on what they can get out of things for themselves.
One essential trait that can counteract the negative effects of being belligerent, is empowering others. When bosses leverage empowering others, they are transitioning into more of a leader.
Empowering is a key leadership trait that will create more trust and respect between the employee and leader. Empowering requires leaders and employees to be focused on win-win outcomes. This is a more supportive of a winning culture.
Leaders who know the value of recognizing others will model it for bosses who are ready to change their leadership style. When bosses become leaders, they learn how important it is to treat individuals with respect and acceptance.
Recognizing is essential to building a culture of inclusion, engagement, and collaboration. When bosses learn how to greet others by name and to thank people when a job has been completed, they are showing more leadership focused behaviors.
Bosses who are willing to learn more about the value and importance of listening, are more likely to learn how to reduce or eliminate their stubbornness towards others. Listening gives bosses a chance to improve their interpersonal relationships in their organization.
Listening leads bosses to see the positive impact of being open to others’ ideas and suggestions can have on themselves and their organizations. Listening builds stronger relationships in time that would otherwise not be possible with stubbornness.
Listening most often is a great foundation for any relationship and those in the workplace is no exception. When bosses are willing to change some of the behaviors, they can positively impact others.
Bosses are not known for their servant leadership style which has been proven to be a very effective way of leading others. Serving others is a powerful way to engage them and support successful outcomes.
Serving requires bosses to make some massive changes that are best achieved with the support of a competent and skilled coach or mentor. Bosses who can ask for support and guidance, are far more likely to make the transition to a more positive leadership style.
Bosses are not leaders and leaders are not managers. Being able to decipher what each role is about, is the first step in identifying which one will work for you. In the end, the most important aspect of leading others is to include a set of essential traits that focuses on the people and all of the positive relationship building core resources.
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