Being a boss doesn’t necessarily mean you should be a ruler/dictator, but more of a leader (someone who has the ability to influence others into achieving set goals of an organisation without having to employ the use of force – an administrator).
Everyone has what works for them as an executive, but there are certain behaviours put up by any boss that will not help any company on the long run, thereby leading to a short-lived success.
Here, we present you with five things you should not do if you want to be an effective boss.
1. Don’t react impulsively
We’ve all shaken our heads at CEOs who fail to confront a problem and but rather stick their heads between their legs. But equally bad is the boss who responds with an unthoughtful reaction because he doesn’t want to deal with (or maybe can’t see) the underlying issues.
For example, a CEO forms a first impression that a particular employee isn’t doing a great job. Rather than offer that employee the opportunity to improve, he makes a snap judgment and lets the person go. This happens often, and arguably it isn’t that the employee had a performance problem, but more likely, the real issue was about communication or the CEO’s own unwillingness to let go of the reins–but he didn’t see it. Successful bosses look at many angles. They don’t act rashly without making an effort to understand a situation or explore options.
2. Don’t rest on your laurels
Most companies that succeed are started by visionaries with a clear mental picture of how to solve a specific pain point. Take the founder of Uber, for example. He was frustrated because he couldn’t get a cab and thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could use my phone to get a ride?” And there! a brilliant idea was born.
The problem is that once you’ve launched your company successfully, and you’ve acquired satisfied customers, you can be deceived into believing that “if you build it, they will come.” And that’s dangerous.
Good leaders cannot just assume that success begets success. Success comes from delivering products and services that address real problems–and unless you know what those problems are, you can’t solve them.
3. Don’t believe your own trash
When you’re the Boss, or any senior executive, people will naturally defer to you. All you have to do is to raise your voice once when someone disagrees with you, and you can rest assured that for the next few weeks, everyone will think whatever you say is brilliant. Unfortunately, this can fool you into thinking that people believe in what you are saying more than they really do.
This is yet another reason that bosses must seek honest feedback. Reach out for opinions from as low in the organization as possible. Reach out to customers. And reach out to your board of directors, too. While they’ll outwardly support you because of the influence of your position, they won’t hesitate to show you the door if they don’t truly believe you’re steering the company on the right course. It takes courage to solicit criticism from people who might disagree with you, but it’s imperative.
4. Don’t leave your board out of the vehicle
Board members typically have large portfolios of companies they advise, and most also have their own full-time jobs. So CEOs get this responsibility complex where they think they have to handle everything alone. They don’t want to bother their board of directors until they’re in a situation where something’s gone wrong, and by then, it’s often too late.
You should make your board members feel like they are not “standing at the bus stop” watching the business, but are “in the vehicle” with the team involved in the business. You need the Board of Directors to accompany you and engage in an ongoing dialogue about your business is headed, the sticky situations, and all the issues or surprises. It’s true, having this kind of relationship with your board requires a big investment of time and energy–but it’s an investment that pays off.
5. Don’t mistake your own opinion for market opinion
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a common theme in all of these bad behaviours, and that’s not getting real-world feedback and believing too much in your own view of the world. This almost certainly spells doom when you start to think your personal outlook represents the outlook of the entire market to which you are selling. It never does.
Relying solely on your own personal perspective will NOT give you an accurate answer. You have to go to the market – outside the walls of your company – to get input on the pain points and demand of real people and companies. And again, this takes work. It takes effort. But without seeking this ongoing feedback, without really talking to and listening to your customers and prospects, you’ll never have the insight to spot potential warning signs and frailties.
Wouldn’t you rather be a leader, than the best ruler/dictator of your business?