Are you a not-very-good boss?

BUSINESS MATTERS BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - March 21, 2021 - 12:00am

Have you ever heard of the term “Bad Boss?” It is too harsh, so why not change it into a “not-very-good-boss” instead?

Here are some quotes from people who work under one.

One disgruntled employee said, “If my boss ever changes his faith, it’ll be because he no longer thinks he’s God.”

A depressed worker said, “Someone should tell my boss the difference between pulling his weight and throwing it around.”

On the verge of depression, a sad worker said, “My boss likes well-informed individuals as employees: those whose views coincide with his own. But at least his employees don’t have to fear automation: machines can’t listen and nod in agreement.”

Tired and bored of the old story, one employee said, “When my boss brags he’s a ‘Self-made Man,’ you can’t help but wonder who interrupted him. But there’s an upside to being a ‘Self-made Man’: just accept this as an apology and let it go at that.”

Seated by the cafeteria, these bunch of middle managers said, “Lots of people have success go to their heads – but this boss of ours went to his mouth as well.”

He’s so egotistical: he even signs his name to anonymous letters. He’s always singing his praises, odd though; it’s an unaccompanied solo.”

And suddenly, the boss came into the same cafeteria and said: “Teamwork is a lot of people doing what ‘I’ say.”

No wonder they’re all depressed.

I guess you’ll always find not-very-good bosses everywhere. But here’s the question.

How would you know if you are one yourself? Here are a couple of questions you may want to ask yourself, and then you determine whether you are a terrible boss or not.

First, you have to understand that many “Bad Bosses” may be very poor with people skills and interpersonal relationships. While they may be capable of running productive departments, eventually, their tactics catch up with them, and they are sent on their way.

Are you a not-very-good-boss in the eyes of your people? Here are the questions:

1.  Do you find that most of the people you supervise are incompetent? Are you frequently “doing their job for them?” And when you finally replace them, are their replacements unqualified as well? True, there are many incompetent people in the workforce, but one manager’s odds consistently attracting incapable people are very slim. Maybe what you see as incompetence is a reaction to your management style.

2.  Do you have a lot of transfer requests? Even if your employees convince you that they are transferring because they are “burnt-out,” or “need a change,” or “want to increase their skill base.” If too many people are transferring out of your department, there’s a good chance you are the reason – no matter what they say.

3.  Do your employees ever disagree with you? A lack of dissent usually means people are afraid to tell you what they think. Do employees ask questions when you give directions? If not, it means you are clear about your directions, or employees are afraid to speak up. Probably the latter.

“But I’m just doing my job and getting things done.” You are probably telling yourself, but the fact is what you’re doing cost the company a lot of money in terms of hiring and training and not to mention the fact the low morale indeed leads to low productivity.

Effective leadership does not only deal with getting things done; it involves getting people to learn, appreciate and grow in their task of getting things done.

Here’s the key. You can get things done through coercion and intimidation. Throw your weight around. Shout out those threats and include some profanity as well, but you’ll never get to the point where you can be most effective. A leader is most effective when he is respected and loved. A lot more things can be achieved through inspiration and attraction, and when morale is high, productivity is high too. Bad bosses can become great and good bosses. Instead of thinking, “lead, lead and lead,” suppose you change the mindset to: “serve, serve and serve!” To be an effective leader, you need to lead with competence, confidence, care, and humility, and it would not hurt to be nice.

Remember: It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice!



(Francis Kong presents the highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership Master Class Online this April 2021. Learn leadership skills that translate into personal, career, and business growth in the Current Reality and the Post-Covid World. For inquiries and reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 or for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)

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