Being a good boss means doing the whole job

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What’s a boss?

A boss is someone who is responsible for the performance of a group. That group might be a six person team or a 300,000 person company. What makes you a boss is that your performance is evaluated based on the performance of that team.

Great bosses are part of teams that have high productivity and high morale. Bad bosses destroy morale and drive away talent. Over time their negative impact overwhelms whatever numbers they may generate.

You’ll do better as a boss if you enjoy helping other people succeed. You’ll do better if you’re comfortable with making decisions and willing to have tough conversations with others about performance and behavior. And you have a lot of things to pay attention to.

When you’re a boss you have two objectives

Every day when you go to work, you’ve got two objectives. One or the other may be more important on any given day. But over time you have to achieve both.

Accomplish the mission

Your team has to get the job done. Your part of that is to do everything you can to make it possible. Remove obstacles and don’t be one yourself. Facilitate good work.

Care for the people

You’re the one responsible for keeping your people safe. It’s your job to help them succeed today and also tomorrow.

When you’re a boss you have to consider two time frames

You have to pay attention to the present and the future as you achieve your objectives. You must get today’s job done, but you also need to do things that build team and individual capacity to succeed in the future.

When you’re a boss you have three kinds of work

Forget the nonsense that some people are leaders and others are managers. If you’re a boss you have to lead and manage and supervise too. They’re different kinds of work.

Leadership work

Leadership work is about setting the direction and demonstrating the values. You can’t take a day off either. You must do your leadership work all day every day. Set the example because people are paying attention. Communicate the mission and other key messages.

Management work

Management work is about groups and processes and priorities. You’ll hold meetings and schedule activities and make sure the administrative laundry gets done.

Supervision work

Supervision work is the people part of the job. It’s all about helping team members do a good job today and a better job tomorrow.

Boss’s Bottom Line

Being a good boss is hard work. You life is a daily bowl of trade-offs and challenges. But if it’s for you it can be the most rewarding work in the world.

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What People Are Saying

Naveen Goel   |   14 Jul 2015   |   Reply
Wally Bock   |   14 Jul 2015   |   Reply

Thanks for sharing that Naveen.

George Grieger   |   14 Jul 2015   |   Reply

Great synopsis but more complicated

Wally Bock   |   14 Jul 2015   |   Reply

Thanks, George

gregory burks   |   14 Jul 2015   |   Reply

You are spot on concerning being a boss.

Wally Bock   |   14 Jul 2015   |   Reply

Thanks so much, Gregory

Jason Tan Thuan Hong   |   15 Jul 2015   |   Reply

Thanks for the Article.

Ashok   |   15 Jul 2015   |   Reply

The biggest challenge of having a team of high performers is to keep them occupied with challenges because they get bored pretty easily. In the end, leading a high-performing team is an incredibly rewarding, challenging, and frustrating role to play. They’ll amaze you with their abilities. They’ll test your patience and intestinal fortitude. They’ll sometimes put your entire career at risk. That said, if you lead them well, they just might save the world. ;-)

Wally Bock   |   15 Jul 2015   |   Reply

Well said. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

Russell Garcia   |   18 Jul 2015   |   Reply

Thanks for sharing that.

Koilor Kimba   |   12 Sep 2015   |   Reply

Many thanks for throwing light this simple but also complicated topic.