Whether you’re an entrepreneur or the CEO of an enterprise-level business, the key to your success will be in how you manage your employees. A great boss encourages employees to become more engaged, resulting in a profitability and productivity boost in your business. It’s also good for the bottom line because your management style will reduce turnover.
Unfortunately, not all bad bosses realize that they’re ineffective or not-respected by their team. I mean, it’s not like an employee is going to tell you how lousy you are to your face. You can, however, take the MTD Training’s Leadership Self Assessment Test to find out your strengths and weaknesses as a leader.
Regardless if you’re despised as a bad boss, or admired and revered as a great boss, there’s always room for improvement. You can start right now by knowing the following 12 things that respected bosses do almost every day.
They educate themselves.
Respected leaders are known for motivating and inspiring their followers. They show by example how to take action, how to be thoughtful and they are constructive in their management style. It’s difficult to achieve great leadership if a person doesn’t know what they’re doing. As such, respected leaders determine what their leadership style will be and make sure that they’re competent at all levels.
If you’re unsure of your leadership style, you can take this quiz from the University of Southern California. As for developing expertise, you should at least have enough knowledge and familiarity to know what you’re talking about. But, because you’re not expected to be the leading expert in all facets of a business, you also hire subject matter experts and subordinate leaders who are more knowledgeable than you are.
Instead of micromanaging and constantly breathing down the necks of employees, respected leaders know that this tactic isn’t effective. In fact, micromanaging employees makes them feel uncomfortable and disrespected. Even worse, it hinders productivity because you’re frequently interrupting them while they’re trying to work.
By delegating specific tasks and responsibilities to their team, employees feel that their boss trusts they have the ability and competency to get the job done on their own. Ultimately, this trust will earn the gratitude and trust of your team, which will keep them happy, engaged, and productive team players.
They rally the troops.
There will be days when it seems like everything and anything that could go wrong, does. When this happens, morale among your team can’t get much lower. A respected leader is able to inspire the team and lift their spirits by being committed to solutions, not blame and passionate about the success of the project. Eventually, your team will remember why they love doing what they do and why they’re proud to be a part of your organization.
You can inspire your employees by:
- Sharing your vision so that they know they’re a part of something that’s important.
- Letting them know “why” they’re doing what they’re doing.
- Encouraging them to stretch their limits.
- Offering praise, encouragement, recognition, and rewards.
- Sharing your knowledge with them.
- Being upbeat, positive, and optimistic.
They demonstrate respect for others.
In order to earn respect, great leaders know that they have to be respectful of their employees. This esteem can be shown by talking less and listening more, not wasting everyone’s time in unproductive meetings and not making employees wait to meet with them. A truly great leader will stand-up for their team and make sure that they’re not mistreated by anyone else.
When a team feels valued and respected, they’re going to work harder for their boss.
They set priorities.
Even though there are a million things to do, smart leaders are well aware that not everything is a priority. If every part of the work cycle is a critical matter, then the most important things will never get done. Unprioritized time causes employees to devote their time and energy to less important tasks and activities.
One of the most effective ways that leaders demonstrate how to prioritize tasks is by following the rule of three. As Brian Tracy explains, these are the “three tasks and activities that account for 90 percent of the value of the contribution you make to your business.”
They build a bond of trust.
“Without trust, we don’t truly collaborate; we merely coordinate or, at best, cooperate. It is trust that transforms a group of people into a team.” — Stephen R. Covey.
Trust is essential to the success of a workplace. That’s why great leaders are constantly building trust among their team since it can improve communication, engagement, and job performance.
You can build trust by being honest, transparent, fair, empathetic, and being a role model. For example, if you want to avoid gossip in the office, then don’t talk about your employees behind their backs or share personal information with anyone else. What’s more, make sure that you arrive on time, meet deadlines, and roll-up your sleeves and get in the trenches when needed.
They welcome and provide feedback.
Respected bosses are on a quest to become even better leaders. That’s why a good leader will solicit feedback, even if it’s negative, from their team. A leader may ask an employee, “What would you do to change or improve the workplace?” The boss may also gather feedback anonymously through surveys.
Besides gathering feedback, they also share frequent feedback on employee performance. If an employee is excelling, then they offer praise. If an employee isn’t doing as well, they clearly explain how the employee can improve.
They share credit and hold themselves accountable.
Why would you respect someone who takes all the credit when it was a team effort? Great leaders make sure that every team member is given credit for their contributions so that they feel appreciated and valued.
On the flipside, a leader understands that they, themselves, are human and susceptible to mistakes. They don’t blame others and will immediately apologize when appropriate. They also learn from mistakes so these errors are less likely to be repeated.
Being a leader means making those hard decisions and not apologizing for them. While they may not realize it, this is something that employees desperately want from their leaders.
However, leaders are also able to clearly explain their business decisions. They are also able to get the rest of the team to understand the why’s and how’s of the choices and resolutions.
They encourage personal and professional development.
Respected bosses aren’t afraid of their employees being smarter than they are. They’re not threatened they’ll be outshined. And, they aren’t even worried if the employee moves on to a different department or another organization. In fact, they encourage all of their team members to grow both personally and professionally through education, training, networking and pursuing their own personal interests and goals.
The biggest thrill that a respected boss gets is when members of their team follow in their footsteps and become a respected leader in their own right. They are proud, happy and honored to have been a part of their employees’ journey.
They let employees be themselves while striving for excellence.
When employees are allowed to be themselves, they’re more comfortable, motivated, and productive. This means:
- Letting them decorate their workspace however they’d like.
- Not implementing a strict dress code.
- Giving them opportunities to share their passions.
- Allowing them to decide how they want to complete tasks and achieve their goals.
- Encouraging them to take ownership of their work.
At the same time, respected leaders don’t want their employees to settle for being adequate. They encourage them to strive for excellence.
They keep their emotions and ego in check.
Even though they’re under a lot of pressure and have a ton of responsibilities, respected leaders don’t fly-off-the-handle and belittle their team. That would be using fear to manage them. Instead, they gain respect by being level-headed, remaining calm, and thinking before they speak. This is a practiced skill.
Furthermore, even though they have confidence and have worked hard to achieve their status, great leaders don’t let prestige go to their heads. Despite their status, a superb leader remains humble and will always put the organization and their team ahead of their own acclaim.
Has there been a boss that you respected? If so, what did they do to earn your respect?