FOUR ESSENTIAL RULES FOR GREAT BOSSES AND ASPIRANTS
Now that you now bear the title ‘Boss’, Leader’ or ‘Aspirant’, I must let you know it comes with great responsibility. Whether you are aware of it or not doesn’t discount the fact that being at the top or in visible leadership matters a lot. This is because unknown to leaders, their followers monitor, magnify and often mimic their moves. Because you are very visible is why you should pay more attention or take heed to yourself and what you represent.
Linda Hudson, CEO of BAE systems who on observation found that after becoming the first female president of General Dynamics, a dozen women tied their scarf in imitation of her style. She commented,’ …As a leader, people are looking at you in ways you could not have imagined in other roles….This is something that I think about virtually every day”.
What I want to bring to our conscious awareness is that the best bosses use this relentless attention to their advantage. They are self absorbed but not for selfish reasons. On the contrary, they understand that success of their people and organization depends on maintaining an accurate view of how others interpret their moves, mood and responding with rapid effective adjustments. Bosses who fail to pay attention to these cues will find their job impossible, their lives hell and their tenures short.
Not only are great bosses trying to maintain an accurate perception to boost performance, they also seek to do this by watching their followers’ back, making it safe for them to learn, act and take intelligent risks and shielding them from unnecessary distractions while helping them win in many little ways .
Let’s look at this: Even though bosses get more than 50 percent of the shame or credit as the case may be, let us bear in mind that they are often responsible for not more than 15% of the good or bad in an organization. This is the lot of the leader: 15 percent of the error will be your fault while 50 percent of the blame will be on your head as much as its equivalent in credit. This demands that leaders must strive to be in control of situations or at least maintain an illusion of it. Here are four ways leaders can achieve this:
1. Express confidence even if you don’t feel it
While we shouldn’t be deceptive, does it do a leader any good to wear his heart on his sleeves? Understand that when you act confident, you soon begin to feel very confident.
2. Don’t vacillate
Indecision, delay and limping between opinions are the hallmarks of a cheap boss. The best ones know that sharp and seemingly quick decisions bolster the illusion and reality that they are in charge.
3. Get and give credit
Your power is best demonstrated when you put the spotlight on others. Give credit to others. You lose nothing because you are on the seat already.
4. Blame yourself
You lose nothing by taking a part of the blame. You become smaller when you think you can shield your weaknesses and attempting to distance yourself from the problem. Good leaders stay in front regardless of the occasion. To appear in control, demonstrate that lessons have been picked up from your failure and announce new plans. When implemented, ensure everyone understands things are improving because of them.
John Quincy Adams said “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” To Live therefore is to Lead and to lead not is to live not. THIS IS THE LIFE!