Being a Really Good Boss…why is it so hard? Why is it?



Ok. You got promoted a while ago, or maybe just recently got promoted to be a Supervisor or Manager. One of my attributes that got me to this position is that I’m a problem solver. I get things done. But it’s not easy, is it?

Well, part of the challenge comes from the fact that the “STUFF” of Supervising and Managing has, and continues to change.

For one thing, everybody is a lot smarter than they were decades ago. (That’s what education does, It’s called a more educated workforce.) A few years ago I read that one day’s New York Times newspaper contained more information than a lifetime of knowledge available in the 1700 or 1800s. Even if the numbers are off, or the years are off; you get the point. And an educated population is bad for despots and/or authoritarian leaderships. Did you think I was talking politics? No, no, no I’m still talking supervisors and managers. (Just swap out “population” for “workforce”.) IKR.

In today’s world, neither authority nor rank is a guarantee of a supervisor’s personal success or productivity generation. No longer are the best managers the ones who gather power to themselves. Funny thing, the really good supervisors give away credit and praise when things go well; but they also are the ones who take on the blame or fault for falling short. They are the ones who, when the worker does it wrong, says “Try that again”. It’s extending value and respect. It’s setting people up to succeed and “investing” in the people who work under their leadership.

I recently heard a Simon Sinek talk about leadership and empathy. He had a quick analogy about why a “quick to hire and quick to fire for nonperformance” attitude does not translate into a “positive workplace”. It ties into this idea of “investing in people”. It went sort of like this:

Shazam, you’re a parent. Your child comes home with a “C” grade. This parent says, “Well son/daughter, I guess we’ll have to put you up for adoption.” Think about it. Many of you have likened your role to that of a parent figure at work. If it's not an option there; why is it an option at work? Right?


Don't stop investing in the people you supervise until you have exhausted every effort to set them up to be successful. Then and only then, make that tough decision.

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