It’s All About the Boss

I'm the Boss

Leaders open doors, not force everyone behind one.  Bill Treasurer, author of Leaders Open Doors, says that, Leaders open doors of perception, possibility, and most importantly opportunity

Everyone can’t be locked behind the same door.

Boss vs. Leader

If you’re not privileged enough to work for a great leader, but rather locked behind a door working for a “boss,” you can still put a positive twist on it.  Having been the victim of my share of bosses, I’ve always been able to move on with one important thing . . . lessons learned.

When we think of learning and training, it’s usually associated with a positive twist.

Though it’s a bad experience, realizing the negative attributes of the boss are actually positive learning tools for us.  It’s the experience that’s bad, not the learning outcome.

Taking Time to Learn

We can learn something from every situation that we’re dropped into.  At one point I was in an operations department where I would write and review standard operating procedures (SOP).  Some of those SOPs would have to be reviewed and approved by my boss.  We’ll call him Mr. Tall.  I would give him a hard copy – partially because it was back in a time when not everyone was that computer literate.

But the main reason was that he liked to “bleed” on his reviews. I honestly believe that he must have ordered red ballpoint pens by the case!

  • Mr. Tall would review, mark it up (very often with synonyms of what was there), then send it back to me.
  • I’d make the corrections and send it back to him (mistake #1).
  • Then he’d make more corrections to different things.  I’d correct and send back (mistake #2).
  • Then Mr. Tall would make more corrections . . . generally reverting back to the original wording.  This was typically the last time I’d have to send it back.

What did I learn from this?  Well you can probably guess the negative right off the bat.  The positive was that when I’m in his position, as much as possible, review it, send it back for corrections, and sign off.  Don’t waste the team’s time with multiple reviews when you can take a little time and review it completely and accurately the first time.

On Leading Meetings

Let me tell you about another instance.  Oh look, it’s Mr. Tall again.  Mr. Tall would have a supervisor’s meeting every Friday at 4:00 (end of day being 5:00).  Now you may be thinking that that’s not such a big deal to meet in order to review the week and plan the next week . . . a little late in the day for a Friday, maybe.

But the kicker is that he held another supervisor meeting first thing Monday morning.

So how captivated do you think the “participants” were on Friday afternoon, knowing that we’d be sitting in the same place, doing the same thing, first thing Monday morning?  The correct answer?  Not very.

This was not some Fortune 500 company trading stocks or trying to secure marketing deals.  Except for the occasional outlying issue, which could have been handled with a sidebar, we didn’t need two meetings so close together.

If you think about it, it was basically one meeting with a two-day break in the middle.

Thoughtful Leadership

What did I learn from this?  People have too many things on their plates to be attending useless meetings.  Constructive meetings involve people and encourage participation.  Badly planned meetings waste time, money, resources, and quite frankly, are worse than having no meeting at all.

  • So I’ll never have a meeting just for the sake of having one.
  • Meeting methods are chosen that are appropriate for the situation.
  • They’re planned out in advance, with an agenda, and one-on-ones are utilized as much as possible when the whole team is not needed.

These are just two examples of controlling bosses.  It’s all about the boss, ’bout the boss, no humble . . . sorry, just had to go there.  Mr. Tall could have been an extremely effective leader if he were to practice a bit of servant leadership.  We were in a business where it would have fit in perfectly.

A Different Way to Lead

In S. Chris Edmonds’ latest book, The Culture Engine, he explains that servant leaders believe:

  • Every person has value and deserves civility, trust, and respect.
  • People can accomplish much when inspired by a purpose beyond themselves.

Focus on the purpose of the organization and people within it.  They want to do a good job.  If you respect their abilities and trust that they can handle the tasks at hand, as the leader it will ultimately free up your time and energy to accomplish even more.  And when that happens, production and energy from employees also goes up.  It’s a win-win.

Are your doors open or closed?  How many useless meetings can you eliminate to free up time and resources?  Are you focused on others, or just yourself? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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——————–
Andy Uskavitch

Andy Uskavitch is Leadership Development and Customer Service Specialist
He develops and facilitates Leadership, Motivation & Teambuilding Seminars
Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Blog |  (727) 568-5433

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