Monica Wofford, CSP, teaches leaders to understand and improve their own leadership in using practice, skills, and desire as their three areas of focus.

Being a great boss is vastly different than being promoted to boss, yes?

Getting promoted to being a boss is often more simple than we think. In most organizations, it merely means that you do so well in your front line position, that someone sees the potential for you to teach others how to do what you do, and thus you get promoted. While this isn’t always the best route, particularly when it comes to sales, it is often the way it works. Regardless of how you get there, being promoted to boss is vastly different than becoming and being a great boss and if you’ve ever worked with someone who wasn’t the latter, you know exactly what I mean. Just how do you become a great boss? How do you become that person that the entire team celebrates and recognizes, or is merely grateful for when Boss’s Day comes around? (Which is October 16th, by the way.) There are a few ways to accomplish this and for starters here are three things you can implement today that will not only improve your reputation as boss, but also your effectiveness as a leader.

Get to Know WHO They Are

Who those team members are is an important piece and it’s more than what’s their name. Find out what they like and what they don’t. Try using a “Two Truths and a Lie” in one of your meetings in which everyone shares these three items about themselves. You might uncover a pet peeve that would keep you from assigning a project that could be disastrous in the hands of that team member, but you also might find something they love to do that you didn’t know about. Find out their birthday and celebrate it in a way they would appreciate. (publicly celebrating a milestone b-day might not be their thing!) Find out if they have children, if they like chocolate, if they like dogs, or anything else that may help you connect with who they are as a person, versus just an employee. Also, if we go back to the beginning of course, find out their name… just in case you don’t already know it.

Get to Know WHAT They Do

What do they do when they get angry? What do they do when they are stressed? What do they do when someone else is angry or stressed? These are all things that may seem intuitive and you can find them out by observing, but the big question for a leader wanting to become a great boss is “What do you DO with that info once you’ve observed it?” Whether you utilize a personality profile or a psychometric tool (CORE® Profile for example), finding out more about what those team members do in certain circumstances can help you to lead them more effectively. You’ll be able to assemble teams better, manage conflict better, hear their complaints, coach, and recognize, as well as motivate better. IF you knew what they did in each circumstance, you’d be able to avoid the pitfalls of poor leadership and be on your way to becoming that great boss who care, knows, connects, and truly leads.

Remember these two pieces of information in everything you do

It has been said, by me actually, that if you don’t like or have an interest in people and you’re in the position of being the leader, then you either got there by mistake or are just plain in the wrong job. Unless you’re the boss of all the office paperclips and supply closet and nothing else, I’m betting you lead people. Therefore, keep in mind who they are personality wise and what that causes them to do. Are they task focused, then ask them to make a list of things to do and let you know when they’re done. Are they people focused and very social? Then put the on the phones to do follow up calls or greeting people in the front office or in sales, but also give them the support of someone organized. Don’t sabotage the team you lead by forcing someone to try and succeed in a position that is not suited to who they are and what they do.

Even if you are promoted from say sales, and you go from the superstar sales person to the Sales Manager, you can implement these practices. However, what might be more effective is to look for those who have the internal traits of great boss-hood FIRST and then train them to demonstrate the skills needed to work with the products or services of your company. But, I digress, that would be the post entitled How to HIRE a Great Boss! Hehe!  Maybe we’ll do that one next. 😀

Oh, and you saw above that I mentioned Boss’s Day. Need a great gift idea for that aspiring boss or even your own leader, check out the Contagious Company Store or go to: for a 50% off gift for Boss’s Day!

Stay Contagious!


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