How to be an unforgettable boss


visual courtesy:
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The power bosses hold over their direct reports is amazing. We used to believe that a position of authority gives the right to direct and manage work. It was the days of command & control style of management. Decades of such practice gave us the insight that people don’t leave companies but they leave bosses!

Corporate world has evolved with advances in technology, psychology and management practices. Emotional intelligence is valued and the onus of developing leaders is on the boss now.

So how do you go about being an unforgettable boss?

Here’s a great article, which I just read, on this topic7 Things That Make Great Bosses Unforgettable by Travis Bradberry on Forbes.

In being an unforgettable boss what’s important is to think how you, as the boss, can help your team achieve their targets and make your team look and feel good.

This is a very important aspect in the boss & subordinate relationship. The classical command & control system would follow the process of ‘I am right. Just do as you are told’ i.e. the subordinate simply executes with little or no strategic thinking input into the task. That doesn’t develop future leaders. On the contrary it puts a huge chasm between the boss and the subordinate that affects communication and often results in the talent leaving the job.

Approaching it from a ‘let me help you achieve your targets’ mind-set requires high emotional intelligence, on the part of the boss. Here are some additional pointers which I have found very helpful in my career:

1. Know yourself wellbe sure of your self-identity as in who you are as an individual. Recognise and understand your passion, ethics & principles and most-importantly selflessness. You need to be comfortable with yourself about how you are and how you come across to others. With that you need to align and evaluate that you are fitting into the work culture that’s prevalent.

2. Transparencybe open and transparent in your communication with your direct reports with regards to requirements and expectations. Clearly establish what is expected in the functional role and what your expectation is. Link your expectation to the strengths you see in your direct report and recommend effective ways in which the areas you want improved upon.

3. Be therealways be there for your direct reports when they are representing your unit to senior management in key meetings. Give support through aiding them in managing the many questions that senior management often ask giving how removed they are from the process management function.

4.Appreciatealways appreciate your direct reports publicly and at senior management meetings individually and as a team. The corporate grapevine is a very powerful channel and faster than the corporate intranet. What may be a small thing to you, as a boss, is a huge sign of support, acceptance and pride to your direct reports when they learn, through other members how well they were appreciated by their boss in senior management settings.

Be vulnerable. Be open. Be humble. Be a Guide. Appreciate  that your direct reports have lives that impact on their professional functioning. Be there for them more as a mentor than as a direct line boss and you would have earned the love and support of your direct reports forever.

Do write in and share your experience and thoughts on how you are an unforgettable boss or your experience with an unforgettable boss as I would love to learn more to improve myself.