“12 Things Good Bosses Believe”
I’ve been a “boss” in one way or another for years, leading projects, teams and companies. I’ve done pretty well at it more often than not — but I’d be hard pressed to say whether I’m a “good boss” or not.
Nevertheless, I saw this article, 12 Things Good Bosses Believe, on the Harvard Business Review blog, and it really resonated with me. This is a great list of mostly self-reflective items for those who lead teams and companies that emphasize the kinds of issues bosses juggle. It offers some humbling, potentially skewering insights, and also gives a lot of food for thought.
The post starts off with an insight that I suspect many managers and other bosses never really internalize:
I have a flawed and incomplete understanding of what it feels like to work for me.
Others also hit me right where I live:
One of the most important, and most difficult, parts of my job is to strike the delicate balance between being too assertive and not assertive enough.
And several express how I try to act:
I strive to be confident enough to convince people that I am in charge, but humble enough to realize that I am often going to be wrong.
I aim to fight as if I am right, and listen as if I am wrong — and to teach my people to do the same thing.
That last one I know really throws people for a loop sometimes. Finally:
Because I wield power over others, I am at great risk of acting like an insensitive jerk — and not realizing it.
Well, yeah. Every leader worth his or her salt knows this… and continues with the work anyway.
It’s a good list worth reading over and thinking about. I have a one or two others I would add to this list, like: Everyone who works for me will also work for someone else, or for themselves. A large part of my job is to help them do their best here. Part of that in turn is helping them with their career development overall. It may sound like a small thing, but it’s a point of view: no one who works for me is “mine;” ultimately while I hope they do good work and enjoy themselves while they’re here, this is just one part of their career.
What are some things you believe “good bosses know” — or should know?