The Four Truths Embraced by Great Bosses

view of a businessman from behind, sitting at a desk with sun shining through large windowsHere’s a guiding principle that will separate you from the pack of not-so-good bosses: A great boss creates a work environment where people are fully engaged and highly accountable.

How would you rate the level of accountability in your organization, on a scale of 1–10? If you’re like most bosses, you’d rate accountability low—maybe a 4. It’s one of the many people issues that frustrate you. You assign jobs to your people, only to be frustrated when they don’t follow through and accomplish them.

There are four truths that you must embrace if you truly desire to be a great boss. If you don’t embrace them, no amount of reading, teaching, coaching, or effort will make you great.

Truth 1: Being a Great Boss Can Be Simple

There have been thousands of books written on leadership and management. They can be confusing, contradictory, and tie you up in knots with theory and complexity. Some will list 30 or more characteristics that you must have and dozens of things that you must do. The truth is, if you do five things consistently as a leader and five things consistently as a manager, you will be a great boss. It’s that simple!

Truth 2: Your Style Doesn’t Have to Change

It doesn’t matter if you’re nice or tough, introverted or extroverted, charismatic or reserved. Just be yourself. When you are authentic, you are more believable and you will build trust. Don’t be intimidated by what you read regarding high-profile leaders who have lots of charm or worry that you’ll never measure up to their larger-than-life personalities. You don’t have to change your style. You just have to be you for people to believe in you.

Truth 3: You Must Genuinely Care About Your People

You can’t fake it. Your people will know if you care about them. There’s an old saying: people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. You could still apply the Five Leadership Practices and Five Management Practices of great bosses and you’d be pretty good. However, if you don’t care, you’ll never be great. It’s like trying to be a great parent but not really caring about your kids.

Truth 4: You Must Want to Be Great

There’s no middle ground here. You must genuinely desire to become a great boss. That means being willing to invest the time necessary to continuously improve yourself. For your business to grow, you must grow. If you don’t want to put in the effort, none of what you learn will stick.

Do you embrace the 4 Truths?

Next Steps


This article originally appeared on the Traction Process blog on June 19, 2016.

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