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Friday, 16 October 2015

It's Boss's Day! Here are 5 Characteristics of my "Perfect" Boss

It's National Boss Day today, a day where many employees recognize and appreciate their employers. Social media is flooded with pictures of my network receiving cakes, treats, and gifts, it's a perfect time to reflect on the qualities of effective leadership, a topic that I'm extremely interested in.

Some managers inspire and motivate, but many fail miserably to engage their employees. Some run a highly effective team, yet their employees live and work in fear. Some on the other hand, are just absolute disasters and a joke to leaders everywhere. Have you seen the movie Horrible Bosses? From the oppressive and agressive bosses to abusive leaders, the entertainment industry seems to have created the ultimate formula for the "bad boss" character. With millions of books, DVDs, research papers, and solutions in the business world today, why can’t real managers understand how to be more effective?
Because of my age (under 30), people think I'm new(ish) to the working world but I have been employed since I was 14 years old. I started out serving popcorn in a movie theatre, and worked my way through restaurants, nightclubs, PR firms, and marketing agencies. I've been the intern, the assistant, the HR admin, the associate, and the team lead. Needless to say, I have seen a wide variety of bosses, from the micro-manager to the non-existent boss. One statement that I TRULY believe in is that people quit people, not jobs.
The best bosses I have experienced became great by taking a genuine interest for each and every team member. Not only do they want the company to succeed, but the individual employee as well. Happy employees = hardworking employees! Common sense, no?
Combining my work experience with my current position as a brand manager and marketer, I have been surrounded with many tips and tricks for effective management and leadership skills. I am going to break down my “must-haves” for (what I think is the) perfect boss! Although no one is perfect, you know what I mean! To me, an outstanding and awesome boss will be:
Communication1. A CommunicatorThis is number one for a reason! Talk to your team; tell them their goals and the goals of the organization. Be transparent! How in the world can you ever expect success if you don’t define what success means to your department and company? This can be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, whatever suits your team and task list. Personally, I love weekly meetings, it keeps me tuned in and engaged on what we as a team have to accomplish each week.
Apart from team goals, communicate your employees’ development with them. There is nothing more I love in this world than feedback. My perfect boss will tell me when I’m doing a great job, let me know when I have dropped the ball, and what I need to work on in the future.
2. A LeaderOften, companies promote a top performer because of previous successes, without ever determining or assessing if that person is capable and suited to manage a specific team. True leaders are able to instill trust, provide direction, and delegate responsibility. Just because an employee reached a sales goal of one million last quarter, does not mean that he or she can manage or lead a team. My perfect boss will be a combination of a top performer with the skills and attributes to lead a team.
3. PassionateManagementI like to think that I am extremely passionate about everything I do, professionally and in my personal life. I’m not saying that I want an over-excited "cheerleading type" boss; my ideal boss will be excited about our mission, what we are trying to accomplish, and will instill this in their team members.
4. A Relationship BuilderEffective managers I have worked with in the past spent a significant amount of time and effort building a relationship with me. Doing this builds trust and loyalty with your employees. It makes employees feel valued, and valued employees work harder. I worked in a top Irish venue as a college student; we loved the managers there and they took great care of us. They offered rewards programs, they taught us new skills, they bought us meals, and always treated us with respect. They always told me they would welcome me back with open arms if I ever needed a job. Because of that, I worked extremely hard for them for six years. Just because you’re not in an office environment does not mean you can forgo basic leadership.
leadership5. A Hard WorkerI strongly believe that no organization can run like a smoothly operated machine unless everyone knows how those moving parts work. A great manager will understand the flow of operations and be willing to do just as much work as their worker bees. I recall my first waitressing experience; a manager took a mop from me and proceeded to clean up after an unfortunate "messy" experience by a sick patron. I asked her what she was doing, she told me, “she would not ask me to do something she would not do herself, especially on my first day.” In that instant, she earned my respect.
I have learned so much from each and every individual that I worked with, the good, bad, and the ugly. Value every experience and utilize these lessons so that you know how to do your job better.

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