May 14, 2014
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The Difference Between A GOOD Boss And A GREAT Boss

This is the way I see it: you may have interviewed the employee as a CEO, but every single day of your professional life, you’re in an interview for your entire workforce. Why?

These Are the People Working for You

Without them, you have no business. Without them, you have no revenue, no profit, no future. You rely on them. You, therefore, are in a constant interview with all of them — your accountants, your board of directors, your customer service representatives, your janitors. Knowing that will determine whether or not you’re a good boss or a great one. More importantly, though, you should know what really separates the two —

GOOD Bosses Get Things Done. GREAT Bosses Get Things Done With Their Teams!

No CEO can do it alone. Or else such a CEO wouldn’t need to hire anyone. Process efficiency is important, but be sure to include the mechanisms of corporate procedure with everyone on your team. Once you empower them with the techniques, the time and resources they need to do their jobs, your job won’t even be a big deal at all. You’re accomplishing something together.

GOOD Bosses Support a Community. GREAT Bosses Actually Create It!

There is such a thing as a “faulty corporate culture.” This is especially true if you walk into a business as a new CEO, and you automatically can sense that the business environment smells like sour grapes. You’ve got a challenge on your hands. You have to revitalize the culture. You have to motivate your employees. You have to change things around. If you can do that, though, consider yourself quite the CEO, and for sure your employees would applaud you for your efforts.

GOOD Bosses Think Creatively. GREAT Bosses Inspire Creativity Among Others!

It’s basic mathematics when you think about it. One creative person can accomplish a lot. Multiple creative persons, though, can accomplish even more. Be creative, of course. There’s nothing wrong with instilling your visions, your ideas, your directions for your own company. Invite, though, feedback, expansions on your ideas, and let your workforce be creative with your ideas as well.

You inspire. Inspiration is vital to the success of a company. While that creativity is enough to rev the engine, inspiration in your employees will definitely get you to the finish line.

GOOD Bosses Will Listen to Concerns. GREAT Bosses Will Let Employees Fix It on Their Own!

Let me elaborate on the fact that this particular methodology isn’t about just throwing your employees to the wolves and letting them fend for themselves. Present your ideas, yes — give them, though, the opportunities to discuss strategies on their own about how to fix the issues. Give them ownership to develop those solutions without you. You may technically supervise them, but not when they technically can handle certain aspects of their jobs by themselves.

GOOD Bosses Encourage Career Development. GREAT Bosses Require It and Reward It!

Positive reinforcement: I don’t know how else to say it. Your employees may have that inner drive already, but that doesn’t mean you can’t foster it to its highest potential. It can only benefit your company for miles and years endlessly. Can you imagine just how big the eyes of your new employees would get when they hear that internal promotions and raises are absolutely required? Expect them not to question you on that.

GOOD Bosses Run Effective Meetings. GREAT Bosses Let Everyone Run Effective Meetings!

We’ve all been at one of those meetings where only the CEO seems to be talking. In a way, it’s kind of like a verbal memo. Nothing really important. More often than not, you’ve got some employees eating sub sandwiches while this drab meeting’s going on; and, yes, while it’s efficient, it seems to be a waste of time and resources for the workforce (but not the company, obviously).

Eventually, though, this takes its toll on the corporation. Therefore, include your team members into a meeting and have them inject their own personalities into the discussions of the meeting. It then becomes not only an effective meeting, but a beneficial huddle of combined resources, strategies, feedback, strengths and creativity.

GOOD Bosses Build Trust. GREAT Bosses Maintain Trust Between Everyone!

It’s not enough to have your employees trust you. You have to encourage them all to trust each other. It creates camaraderie, loyalty and a team mentality that will never break, even when action plans fail, as that may tend to happen from time to time given the fact that this isn’t a perfect world. Win or lose, encouragement’s key, praise is paramount, and celebration is always appreciated. That’s why trust that’s built can easily be broken down if not continually nourished even through the hard times.

GOOD Bosses Make Employees “Happy.” GREAT BOSSES Find Ways to Constantly Make Employees “Happier” Every Day!

We want to butter up our employees all the time. Don’t deny it. Be sure, though, to do such things for a reason, not always just because, or else it’s the kind of “happiness” that’s fleeting. If you want that “happiness” to last — and, better yet, grow — reward them for what they do outside of the occasional bonus or raise. Do something unique.

GOOD Bosses Instill Personal Responsibility. GREAT Bosses Encourage Team Accountability!

Don’t get me wrong: making sure employees own their own responsibilities is important. The true driving force to corporate prosperity, though, is when employees work together as a team. A good team, though, looks out for each team member, bolstering each other, holding each other accountable, counseling each other, even rebuking each other when necessary. It’s about motivation, vitalization and communication.

GOOD Bosses Praise. GREAT Bosses Encourage Employees to Praise Themselves!

Ask any effective business lawyer out there about upping the game and maximizing methodology. Oftentimes such a professional does the work alone with no one to pat him or her on the back. That’s because that attorney, or accountant, or insurance specialist doesn’t need that pat on the back by someone else. They pat themselves on the back all the time. If there ever was a major turbo charger for productivity, it’s that: when an employee knows how to reward himself or herself for a job well done.

Do You See the Difference?

Even as a CEO, you’re still learning. Everyone learns every day, even till the day you die or until the day your business moves on to the next CEO to succeed you. Come to think of it, that’s the entire goal: your business needs to continue living on.

Your business should be immortal when you think about it. Know this, though — the only way to immortalize your vision, your corporation, your future, is to be that GREAT boss you know you are. Matt Faustman is the CEO at UpCounsel. You can follow his business insights on Twitter at @upcounsel.

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