By Heather Evans
You’ve got a Brazilian blowout, manicured nails, and wear mod power suit versions of Hillary Clinton’s trademark pantsuits. Your Starbucks order is simple: tall, skinny, sugar-free vanilla latte. You’ve got shit to do and less time to do it. You’re in charge.
But what does being in charge really mean?
So you have to answer to the big, big boss. Maybe you own a company. Or, you’re just the manager who happens to be in charge today. Whatever category you fall into, there’s a lot to learn about being a true leader and not just someone who barks orders. Here are some major clues to help you discover if you’re a great boss or not.
Do you refer to your job as babysitting?
Guess what? If you’ve ever said this, chances are you’re not the greatest at your job. Don’t get us wrong, we know you shouldn’t have to remind people not to be late a million times, and the mini dramas of people’s lives can be endless. But if you find yourself constantly talking down to your team, it’s obvious you don’t respect them, so they won’t respect you.
Do you praise or put down?
There’s a huge difference between giving praise, constructive criticism and plain old putting people down. If someone is doing a great job, tell them. If someone is having issues getting the job done to your satisfaction, don’t make it personal. There’s never any need to make someone feel horrible. Simply tell them your expectations, let them know they aren’t being met, and then come to a positive solution or let them go.
Are you afraid of your staff?
Are you afraid to lay down the law because you feel work should be like: “OMG, my staff are my besties and everyday should be fun, like drinking mimosas in the employee lounge and then taking drunken selfies!” Buuutttt… when it comes time to get things done, you are pissed that no one’s done anything but refuse to take any responsibility? If you want to be friends with your staff, you’ve got to remember that your professional relationship is just that: professional. Friendship at work: Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Is your staff afraid of you?
This one’s easy. Do you get off on the office gossip about how you’re so terrible you caused someone to develop an ulcer? You don’t want to lead with fear. You want to lead with respect. Harvard Business Review conducted a study last year and found that being a bad boss leads to a major decrease in productivity. Make life easy on your staff. If you can’t deal with your workload and you’re incredibly unhappy, QUIT. Don’t make everyone else’s life around you miserable because you can’t get it together.
What’s your team turnover?
Are you proud to say you’ve got a staff of people devoted to working happily beneath you? Or do you find yourself recruiting HR into finding you new people to hire every few months? If turnaround at your office is high, take a look at what you’re doing and take responsibility. Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you’re the best. Remember, you’re not the only one who is juggling kids, a husband, a full time career and trying to make it to Zumba to tone your ass at night. The world doesn’t revolve around you.
If you found yourself leaning to more of an, “oops, I may be more of a bitch than a boss,” it’s ok. You can be direct, be firm and call the shots as much as you want, just do it from a higher place. Avoid getting personal, being snide, and above all: have patience if you desire perfection. Remember, you are every bit as human as those working with you. Don’t work with the assumption that you’re so important you forget what’s actually important: being a great person, a respected leader and above all: happy.