Saturday, May 14, 2011

...from Memorable Bosses

Have ever looked back at how many bosses you’ve had? More importantly, how many of those were truly memorable.

In the corporate world, you’re structured to learn from your boss, whether you want to or not. Some will be easy to forget, others will shape your managerial behaviors for the rest of your career and life. This is what I’ve learned from those people so far.

The 10 Things I learned...from my most memorable bosses (so far)

1. Go the extra mile

- When it comes to being a boss, like kids are to parents; your people are your first priority. My most memorable bosses have been the ones who took coaching seriously and taught me something valuable. They are the ones who worked (and continue to work) upstream to promote me, up and across, beyond just the next job. 

2. Make people feel special
- It’s that feeling you get when an old friend calls you on your birthday. Make your people feel that every time you can. From jump starting my car, to throwing me a surprise going-away party, to sending me a thank you card for presenting to their team, those leaders are never forgotten.    

3. Have fun & celebrate the wins
- Find time to take a break from a stressful world with fun events. Take a minute or two to dress up for Halloween, and I promise that mental picture will last longer than the digital one. Like a former boss, put the economic and political conditions aside for a moment and take time to celebrate reaching your monthly goals.

4. Adjust your style to each individual
- This one I’m taking from a training I took on “being a boss.” It’s about understanding the developmental stage of each person and adjusting your style to work with them differently. A good boss should be the one changing to where you are in your learning curve and career stage.

5. Give attention to details
- The theory that a little goes a long way. Make sure –certain- things are perfect. When presenting to the CEO have an impeccable presentation (and I mean your appearance too!) When meeting with a buyer, impress them with an insightful show. Make the most important things look good, real good. Always set a new standard.

6. Make yourself available
- The higher you get, the more accessible you should be to people who want to become more like you. Make time for complex strategic discussions down to the simplest career conversation. Everyone needs to have lunch, make it an enjoyable one with someone who’s interested in who you are and what you have to say.

7. Never, ever, use a red pen!
- This one’s from that boss I hated, which also makes her memorable. Simply put, don’t treat people like failing students; treat them honorably and with respect, show a genuine interest in teaching them by getting to know their needs and be professional about it. This former boss gets an F!    

8. Know how to work the system - unsuspectingly

- Fade into your surrounding environment. Know what you want to achieve but more importantly how to achieve it through obvious, and sometimes hidden, agendas. It’s the sweet balance of networking with influencing others.

9. Learn to say “next” - let go and move on
- When you reach a certain level, you need to let go of the tactics and move on to bigger things. You should oversee things, not see things over. This boss did it gracefully cutting our presentations short by saying “next” - It was a statement of understanding, but more importantly, a statement of trusting you and empowering you.  

10. Turn a message into a memorable speech

- Delivering a great speech is beyond engaging the listener; it’s that closing statement in a court case that changes the outcome of the verdict. It’s that political statement that gets a standing ovation to win an election. If you’re the best speaker, you’ll sign up the best people. I’ve moved cross country to work for inspiring speakers, and I have a list of the ones I’m following next: the memorable ones!  

1 comment:

  1. Very insightful and thought provoking. What a shame too few managers ever understand or appreciate these lessons.