5 Rules To Be A Good Boss

We’ve all heard those horror stories at one time or another about how some people hate their boss right? How their boss insanely micromanages everyone and everything they come in contact with and how they get to work at 9am only to count down the actual minutes until the end of the day.

Maybe it’s your spouse that routinely comes home in a foul mood and rambles on and on over dinner about how nothing is ever good enough for his or her boss. Maybe a close friend or even a co-worker has confided in you about how they are at their wits end and is in the process of searching for a new gig.  Maybe it’s actually you! You are the one that doesn’t have to think too hard to remember that one boss you had that drove you and all your colleagues absolutely insane. Maybe it’s your current boss that rubs you the wrong way and makes your eight hours on the clock a living nightmare.

No matter how hard you try nothing is ever good enough. All your attempts at doing a good job in their eyes prove futile. You don’t feel appreciated, your hard work and long hours seemingly go unnoticed. There’s just no pleasing him or her! You dread checking your email inbox because you’re sure there will be something waiting for you with a tone that makes you come close to losing your religion. You walk into the office on Monday morning with a coffee in hand and a knot in your stomach unsure as to what new battle you are walking into.  What pile of shit is “Hell Boss” waiting to dump on your lap today? Maybe you’ve even gone so far as to add up your bills and divide them by how many Uber or Lyft rides you’d have to drive in order to make ends meet. At this point anything will do until you can find a new job and some peace of mind.

Sound familiar? Of course it does and let me tell you: You are not alone! Most of us have been there and trust me when I tell you, it is no way to live!

Luckily, I can honestly say I’ve had some really great bosses that I still love till this day but I have also run across an asshole or two since entering the workforce.

Admittedly, I myself have not been someone’s “boss” for all that long. Although it seems like it’s been an entire lifetime, in truth, I sort of fell into management about five years ago. I was asked by “the powers that be” to apply for a position that, unbeknownst to me, had become available at our sister property across town. Yes it was a promotion and of course it was more money, so I didn’t think twice. It was a no-brainer. 

I must admit I was scared shitless when I was offered the position a day or two after my interview and I remember vividly asking myself how exactly I would manage a team of almost twenty four people. How would I be their boss? I had never been someone’s boss before! How would I be the head of a department and have twenty-four unique personalities that I would be responsible for? How would I not let any of them down?  I was walking into an already established team that would rely on me to be their leader and their boss. 

Five years later I think I’ve found my niche! I am realizing that I’m actually good at this managing people thing! It is that innate quality that has made me successful when it comes to leading a team and being their boss.

By no means am I the perfect boss or manager of my department, but here’s what I know for sure: if you apply at least two of the following rules you will see a difference in your team’s attitude and their willingness to go above and beyond to get the job done.

Here are my top 5 rules I live by when managing my team:

Rule #1: RESPECT! – First and foremost I respect my staff. Simple as that. I am not the kind of boss to belittle anyone on my team and I do my best to never make them feel like they are beneath me. I value their opinion on our departmental procedures and I make it a point to include the team in the conversation when it comes to making any changes. I listen to their feedback with an open mind and encourage them to give ideas on how we can make any improvements. I believe it is my job to always make sure that they know they are being heard and that their voices matter and that their opinions are valued.

Rule #2: No Man Is An Island! – That was a saying my mother taught me as far back as I can remember. If the perception of me, being the boss, is that I think I can do the job myself and that I don’t need anyone, what then would motivate my team to want to do their best? What are they there for? If I am always criticizing their work and putting them down, does that encourage my staff?  Will that encourage them to pick up any extra slack when needed? Always remember, “No man is an island” and if you feel you can do everything yourself, there is no need for you to have a staff. Go do everything your damn self! 

Rule #3:  Make it light! – I don’t know about anyone else but I hate working in an office where the atmosphere is tense. I hate when it’s awkwardly quiet! I love to laugh and I enjoy laughing with my team. When we have a good time at work it makes the day go fast. It’s also one of the reasons that it doesn’t actually feel like work. When you enjoy your co-worker(s) you look forward to coming to work every day. You want to pull your weight and not let them down.  I make sure we have a good time and we enjoy ourselves for as long as we are on shift. But let me be clear, when the hard times come, we buckle down and get our shit done. Work hard play hard! And don’t forget to laugh!

Rule #4: – Own It! –  Let me reiterate that by no means am I perfect! My title may place more responsibilities on my shoulders, however, that does not mean that I think I am perfect nor does it mean that I am too good to admit my mistakes. It is when you look a member of your team in the eye and admit you fucked up that you earn their respect and you make yourself more human. They relate to you more and when the time comes for them to own up to their screwup, nine times out of ten, they will do so with no problem because they know they can be honest with you because you are honest with them. It’s a two way street! Simple as that! My team adores me and will go to bat for me because they know I have their backs. They also know that I will protect them and if/when I should fall short on anything, which I will, I own it!

Rule #5: – Appreciate! –  Does it really cost you to take two minutes to thank your staff when they are leaving at the end of their day? Would it kill you? It’s not that difficult a task to say thank you to someone for doing a good job. Most people want to please their boss and ensure their happiness and satisfaction with their performance, so trust me when I tell you, a little goes a long way when you show appreciation. You never know when you’ll need that same member of your team to change their schedule, put in overtime, or work that shift that everyone hates. When you show your appreciation to your staff they repay it back tenfold.

Now that I’ve given you some insight into what it takes to be a good and likeable boss,  begin this brand new week with the perfect opportunity to put one of these rules to use. You will notice a shift in dynamic with your team and in your office.

Happy Monday! Teamwork makes the dream work! 

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– AndrewPhillipK