Become a Great Leader: Step One, Avoid Terrible Bossing

Becoming a great leader takes work. The good news is the effort is worth it and it will help you avoid being the reason your team members are desperately praying they win the lottery. While we would all love to be rich, there is a special sadness when the reason your folks are hoping they win is, their leader is terrible at bossing. The good news is there are 5 simple actions you can take to avoid this label.

Become a great leader
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Show Em Some Love

This may sound silly but as a leader your number one job is to love your team. If your foundation is based in the idea that you love the people on your team and you want the best for them, then the hard stuff becomes easier. It also helps you listen and be open to their feedback when they share it which is vital as a good leader. You will find your people motivated and engaged when you truly love your team.

Expectations – Must Haves

The second thing that is crucial to avoiding the terrible bossing label is setting expectations and holding everyone to them. The team must have clear line of sight on what you expect of them, what they can expect of you, and that everyone plays by the same rules. Failure to do this often results in team members silently quitting – the workplace phenomenon where people quit while you pay them to do just enough. It is also the number one pet peeve of your high performers and Lord knows you want to keep those folks motivated! As you think about expectations, don’t forget to hold yourself accountable – your people are watching you.

Be the Bulldozer

In every organization things that get in the way of a team’s work. These distractions range from politics to favoritism to lack of cooperation from other teams much more. As a leader you must be willing and able to bulldoze these distractions. Take problems off the plates of your team members, so they can focus on the real work at hand. This is part of the dirty work that has to be done to become a great leader and I assure you, it will pay off for both you and your team.

Work Harder

There is an old saying about never asking someone to do something you wouldn’t do – this is supremely true in leadership. You never want to be the leader whose team whispers about coming in late or leaving early and always delegating the grunt work – those are surely examples of terrible bossing. Instead, focus your efforts everyday on outworking your team – be the example of hard work for them, and they will return the favor and work hard for you!

Don’t Forget the Fun

Last but not least, the fun factor. Often times the workplace can be dull, boring, and even stressful. Being a leader that has fun with their teams helps lighten the mood, helps your team see you as a person, and helps your people know that you care about them beyond the work they do. Every leader needs to tap into their own ways of having fun that resonates with their people. After all, your team is going to work hard so you might as well play hard too!

Become a Great Leader

No leader is perfect, and we are all going to have terrible bossing moments but following the five simple concepts above will help you avoid the pitfall of being labeled a terrible boss. Embrace each concept and incorporate your unique style to them as you deploy them with your team. Learn and tweak as you go until you have developed a solid leadership approach that produces the outcomes and the high performing team members you want because that is what it’s all about.

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Edna Johnson
Master’s in Business Leadership
Guest Writer, Coaches Training Blog Community

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  1. Denise Maxwell says

    Very easy reading and addresses all the things we as employees talk about in regards to our current bosses. I’ve actually shared this article with my current supervisors and have gotten positive feed back from them.

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