Think you are a Horrible Boss?

Watching the trailer for the new movie with Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrell and Kevin Spacey called Horrible Bosses, I wonder how many actual bosses cringe for a moment while remembering someone in their past that just made life hell.

We have probably all had at least one horrible boss still etched in stone in our memory banks. While the movie seems to make stereotypical over blown characterizations, you can’t help but wonder if anyone that reports to you thinks you are a horrible boss. It doesn’t take much to tip that scale from a boss you like or tolerate to actively dislike.

But think about it. Is it that people dislike their boss or feel more disappointed by what they don’t do? And if you have bad days as a boss, who can blame you. We are all juggling more with less (that’s why unemployment is so high right?) hoping to make the numbers work. It’s enough stress to make even the nicest people grumpy, impatient and wear a perma-frown on their forehead.

So, keeping it real, what do you think your people say about you to their colleagues, friends and family? Even if people like you it doesn’t mean they like how you lead or manage them. How bosses communicate guidance, give feedback and notice accomplishments are the real sticky points with most employees. And apparently most of us could do a whole lot better on that front.

We spend thousands on looking better but we spend so little on being better. If you are a boss, leading a company is fraught with people issues. You can keep hoping they go away, but the bigger the company gets the more you have to accelerate your learning to lead them effectively.

Here’s a simple way to determine if you need to add some skills to your bag of tricks. Think about the following situations. If you see the same patterns in your company, realize each one requires a different kind of leadership response. The fact the pattern is exercising its muscles in your world is evidence you may need think about how you want to invest in your leadership game.

Are these events going on in your company?

– Experiencing interpersonal and cross-departmental friction
– Company facing a lot of change and uncertainty
– Working with new managers who lack skill sets
– Never hearing what’s wrong except when it is too late to fix it
– Having a daily parade of people with problems expecting you to sort them out
– Waiting for the day to be over so you can get out of there
– Meetings that never produce an insightful conversation or a plan that gets implemented successful

Will this be your year to stop the Horrible Boss problem from spreading further? Rob McGregor, Spirit West’s leadership coach says that “Every one of these problems is something you can resolve, once you learn the secrets of holding people accountable, communicating expectations and understanding how you get the results you don’t want.” What will you choose?

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