Leadership is one of the hot topics in the business world today as people are searching for more effective ways to drive their ideas and businesses forward. To move a business in the right direction, there are numerous tasks that need to be completed at just the right time and in just the right sequence; effectively doing this usually requires a good boss.
A boss has two fundamental jobs: to provide direction and to get results; I see this as the continuous process of advancing a business from one point to another. Through personal experience and studying how renowned leaders drive their businesses forward, I have highlighted 4 key aspects of business that make a good boss:
1). How you set goals
How you give direction is by setting goals and these goals are representations of how you intend to improve the business.
The most effective bosses set goals proactively and sequentially; they choose goals that are big enough to make an impact but small enough to be achievable. Although these goals may be challenging, it is essential that they are realistic and progress towards them is measurable.
There are numerous occasions where bosses set unattainable goals and unrealistic deadlines due to a lack of understanding of the business’ capabilities; doing this only diminishes employee confidence in the boss’ ability.
As a boss, you need to have a full understanding of the level the business is currently operating at and how you think that level can be improved. The goals and targets you set are the initial indicators of how good you are as a boss.
2). How you manage people
There are 3 key resources involved in any business: Money, Time and People. How bosses manage these resources will determine how effectively they can take their goals from paper to reality.
People are the most important resource to manage in any business. Historically, bosses and people in positions of power have gotten effective results by managing people either based on fear or based on respect. Nigerian bosses tend to have a preference for fear, and understandably so to some degree.
The poor business environment in Nigerian has led to a work culture that only caters for self-interest. This translates to most employees having a genuine disinterest in the success or failure of the business they work for; all they want is to be paid. Unfortunately, this leaves bosses with no choice but to use the fear factor to get results.
However, the best results are gotten when employees recognize the goal as important out of respect, not fear. Good bosses are able to draw out a sense of respect from those they manage while getting the desired results, through an understanding of their employees, open communication and an appreciation of their skillset.
As a boss, it is imperative that you know the specific strengths and weaknesses of each member of staff. If you can identify what tasks are best suited to their skillset, you will be able to get the best results.
3). How you handle pressure
In the life of a Nigerian boss, unpredictable business conditions contribute to pressure almost on a continuous basis. Pressure could come from having to make a difficult decision, running out of time to deliver a deadline or your car breaking down on third mainland bridge on the way to an important meeting.
Regardless of the pressure you may be facing, it is important that you DO NOT PANIC; once panic sets in, you are likely to make a mistake.
Good bosses exhibit composure under pressure at all times. Staying calm and objective under pressure demonstrates your ability to take things in stride and complete your tasks even in the face of difficult circumstances. This takes some practice of course, but the more you practice, the better you will get at handling pressure.
4). What your results are
After all is said and done, a business will be judged by its output. You could be the most inspirational boss with the best ideas, but if you don’t have the results to show for your efforts then chances are you’re not a very good boss.
Good bosses know that there is no room for excuses in business and they don’t accept excuses from themselves or the people they manage. They utilize all the resources within their reach to show effective results.
The best bosses go a step further to not just focus on how successfully they achieved their goals but also how impactful they were in the lives of their employees. This is the major difference between effective bosses and the very best bosses, the best bosses groom and improve their employees, who can then go on to improve the lives of others.