Being the Boss, Being the Best
Three Tips for Success!

Carrie Stack, M.Ed.
Founder, Say Yes Institute

Everyone wants to be an amazing boss, yet so few are. Why is that? You can ask group after group about a boss that had the “It” factor and they can easily identify what makes a fabulous boss- and what supervisors they have had in their lives that have made a tremendous impact on them. They can also name what makes a horrific boss, and the kind of manager that wreaks havoc on the stability and sanity of a team!

If we can safely assume that nobody aspires to be a terrible boss, how do so many fall into this category? Simple. We don’t spend a lot of time building people skills, so a lot of leaders have the ability to hold a great vision, but they can’t connect the dots to be a great leader that can successfully move people towards the visions!
If you want to be a dream boss, there are some similar traits that people have identified. Here are three tips to joining the highest ranking level of incredible bosses- where you will eternally live as part of the most treasured and valued leaders they have ever or will ever have the privilege of knowing
• Boundaries will save your sanity. If you won't say it to a kid, or the person behind you in line at the grocery store, then don't tell the people you supervise the story! You aren't there to share your tales of the wretched divorce you are in, nor should you be showing your team (with pride) how well you can hold your alcohol, by demonstrating how many shots you can still do! You are there to support, encourage, inspire and be held accountable. You are not there to make friends or be friends. People will argue against this, but it gets really hard to write someone up on Monday morning after they watched you stumble around in a drunken stupor Friday night. You have friends- go out with them, and focus on being a leader for your team. They will thank you for it.
• Throw out hypocrisy and live by, "Do as I do, and what I say will match. Always." You ask people to be in work on time, and you're in work on time. You ask them to work on a weekend, and you’re already there (with bagels!). You leave early for your daughter's Little League game once a week, and you encourage all members of your team to leave early one day a week too, to do something with their families OR their friends (not all staff have children, and you respect their personal obligations as well!). If it's something important to you, and you can do it, you make damn sure your team has the same opportunity. You know that being hypocritical or void of self reflection is the downfall of any boss, and you won’t ever let that be you.
• Shine your light on the positive. Say what's right, what's good, what went well and what is great. Say it again. Look for it. When you find it, notice it and name it. You will also address missing pieces, and work through issues or troubles, but you are committed to looking for the positive and you encourage your team (and the office climate) to do the same. You set up a framework for focusing on what is working, and how to expand on those strengths. You have a team that is also positive, and negative people don't seem to fit in (or last) at your company/agency, and that's ok with you!
It's not easy to be the boss, but it doesn't have to be as painful as so many find it! Think about your role, and what you're trying to do- and then look at these tips and see if there is anything you can work on expanding and developing more. There is no such thing as perfect…but there is amazing, and that's where you want to be.
And, remember, when the boss is working on professional growth, it sets the stage for others to do that as well. You'll inspire others as you work on this, so everyone wins!

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Stack, M.Ed., founder of Say Yes Institute, is the author of, Conversations with the Future and The Dream Boss. She has had the privilege of spending 20+years supporting incredibly cool people (managers/supervisors, community leaders, teens, parents, families, etc.) to have positive and powerful relationships- at home and at work, by building emotional intelligence skills.