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What Kind of Boss Are You – Star or Idiot?

Optimize Blog - October 16, 2014 - 0 comments

We spend a lot of time thinking, coaching and writing about the challenges of talented people frustrated with life inside big organizations. If you’re the leader, how do you make sure that you don’t repeat the bad habits of the old bosses who drove you crazy? We think you need to develop solid answers to five fundamental questions for aspiring leaders.
1. Why should great people want to work with you? The best leaders understand that the most talented performers aren’t motivated primarily by money or status. Great people want to work on exciting projects. Great people want to feel like impact players. Put simply, great people want to feel like they’re part of something greater than themselves.
2. Do you know a great person when you see one? It’s a lot easier to be the right kind of leader if you’re running a team or department filled with the right kind of people. Indeed, as we reflect on the best workplaces that we’ve visited, we’ve come to appreciate how much time and energy leaders spend on who gets to be there. These workplaces may feel different, but the organizing principle is the same: When it comes to evaluating talent, character and cultural fit counts for as much as credentials. Do you know what makes your star performers tick—and how to find more performers who share those attributes? Equally why are you putting up with under-performing people? Turn them around or turf them out
3. Can you find great people who aren’t looking for you? Here’s the scoop: The most talented performers tend to be in jobs that they like, working with people they enjoy, on projects that keep them challenged. So leaders who are content to fill their organizations with people actively looking for jobs risk attracting malcontents and mediocre performers. The trick is to win over so-called “passive” job-seekers. These people may be outside your company, or they may be in a different department from inside your company, but they won’t work for you unless you work hard to persuade them to join.
4. Are you great at teaching great people how your team or company works and wins? Even the most highly focused specialists are at their best when they appreciate how the whole business operates. Can every person learn how to think like a businessperson? We think so but it’s mainly a matter of shared understanding. Can smart people work on making everyone else in the organization smarter about the business?
5. Are you as tough on yourself as you are on your people? There’s no question that talented and ambitious people have high expectations—for themselves, for their team or company, for their colleagues. Which is why they can be so tough on their leaders.
The ultimate challenge for the boss who is determined not to be the same as the old boss is to demonstrate those same lofty expectations—for their behavior as leaders. Our reality is that stars don’t work for idiots.
So here’s hoping that your team or department is filled with stars—and that they never think of you as an idiot. But of course, hope is not a strategy……..

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