The 5 Essential Functions of a Great Boss

Great business owners become great based on their actions. Intentions are meaningless. Words are important. Results are everything.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Consistently accomplish these five functions and you, your company -- and most importantly your employees -- all reap the benefits. Fail at these five functions and no matter how hard you work, you and your business will eventually fall short. argues Jeff Haden in Money Watch on

1. Develop every employee. If your sole focus is on hitting targets, achieving results, and accomplishing concrete goals your leadership cart is well before the horse. Without great employees, no amount of focus on goals and targets will pay off. Employees can only achieve what they are capable of achieving, so it's your job to help every employee become capable of achieving more.

2. Take care of problems immediately. Nothing kills team morale quicker than issues that don't get addressed. Interpersonal squabbles, performance issues, inter-departmental feuds all negatively impact employee motivation, enthusiasm, and even individual work ethic.

3. Rescue a struggling employee. Every team has an employee who has fallen out of grace: Publicly failed to complete a task, blew up in a meeting, or just makes particularly slow progress. Over time a struggling employee comes to be seen by his peers, and by you, as a weak link. Before you remove a weak link from the chain, put your full effort into trying to rehabilitate that person instead. Step in and address the situation, but do so in a positive way.

4. Serve others -- never yourself. You can get away with this once or twice, but that's it. Never say or do anything that in any way puts you in the spotlight, however briefly. Never congratulate employees and digress for a few moments to discuss what you did. Never say, "This took a lot of work, but I have finally convinced upper management to let us..." If it should go without saying, don't say it.

Your glory should always be reflected, never direct. When employees excel you excel. When your team succeeds you succeed. When an employee rehab project turns into a superstar, remember they should be congratulated, not you.

5. As a business owner, you've reached a level many of your employees also hope to someday reach. Some admire what you have accomplished; most respect you for your hard work and achievements. So sometimes an employee will just want to talk or to spend a little time with you.
When that happens you can blow that person off, or you can see the moment for its true importance: A chance to inspire, motivate, reassure, or give someone hope for greater things in their life.

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