Reading Bob Sutton’s Book Good Boss, Bad Boss being reminded of all the great bosses I have met, through Create-Learning and in the past. Plus being reminded of the asshole bosses I have met and worked for.
The theme of “what does it feel like to work for me” continually proves to show that many, many leaders have no idea.
When asked, “When I speak with the staff what would they say it is like working for you?” it is too easy to fall into positive illusion.
Bosses slip into this because, they are the boss! and not matter how hard they try that STINK of BOSS cannot be removed.
In Sutton’s Blog he wrote;
If you want to be a good boss, the big question you need to focus on is “what does it feel like to work for me.” If you want to start getting some answers to this question, bring someone in a meeting that you trust, and have them count three things, or even easier (although probably less accurate), evaluate yourself on these three questions:
- How much do you talk compared to your followers?
- How often do you ignore, interrupt, or talk over people who are trying to make a point?
- When you speak, how often do you make statements versus ask questions?
A boss can fall into the arrogance of belief that you can help others AND you have nothing left to learn yourself.
Once any person (whoever and whatever your role) fools themselves into the belief that their is nothing left to learn – that is when reality is lost.
Remember you can and will always learn more.
I have written about this earlier, especially how the leader can create a learned helplessness that only creates a stronger reciprocal doom loop feeding into more boss take over and less employee sharing-building upon itself.
The questions the Sutton raises are useful, how does your boss stack up? If you are the boss how do you feel about these questions?
michael cardus is create-learning
photo by striatic