6 Habits of Extraordinary Bosses by Geoffrey James

view original / business.time.com / Geoffrey James

DeM Banter:  Imagine if we had a few more bosses that led in the manner below? Great, easy to remember, perhaps not so easy to follow steps.  Anything to add?

For the past two decades, I’ve been interviewing and observing successful C-level executives to discover the secrets of their success.

In a previous post, I documented the core beliefs of extraordinary bosses. Now it’s time for something more tactical–the simple ground rules for managing a team effectively:

1. They Avoid Creating Superstars

Average bosses sometimes allow one employee to become the “star” of the team while ignoring the hard work of everyone else. The “star” gets plenty of recognition and attention, while the rest of the team gets shunted aside. This alienates everybody except the star and sends people the message that their contribution is not valued.

Extraordinary bosses coordinate individual workers’ goals so that they intersect with and support team goals. Such bosses compensate based on how the team (rather than just the individual) performs and encourage top performers to use their talents to create a broader level of success.

(MORE8 Ways Washington Could Really Help Small Business)

2. They Remove the Nonperformers

Average bosses sometimes hire somebody who can’t do the job–but then keep that person on board, hoping that he or she will figure things out. This damages the the entire team, because it creates a lower level of performance and forces everyone else to do extra work to fill the gaps.

Extraordinary bosses monitor employee performance and provide constructive coaching when an employee falls short. However, once it’s that clear a person can’t perform, they either reassign that employee to a more appropriate job or do him or her a huge favor: suggest finding a job elsewhere.

3. They Coach But Don’t Interfere

Average bosses can’t “let go” of what they’re good at. They’re constantly intervening when things aren’t done the way they’d prefer. This not only lowers motivation but also turns the manager into a “gatekeeper” for any activity–causing productive work to grind to a halt.

Extraordinary bosses know that their primary responsibility is to let people do their jobs and provide coaching when necessary or requested. Such bosses realize that it’s impossible for workers to think strategically when their time and energy are getting consumed with details of tactical execution.

4. They Put Their Employees First

Average bosses put most of their attention on customers, investors, other managers, and their own career. In this priority scheme, employees rank dead last–if they’re even on the list. Unfortunately, employees can sense when a boss doesn’t care about them, and they respond by not caring about their jobs.

(MORESecrets from the World’s Happiest Workplace)

Extraordinary bosses know that the best way to please investors, peers, and customers is to put the employees first. They realize that it’s employees who create, build, sell, and support the products that customers buy, thereby creating investor value and advancing a manager’s career.


AND EVEN More from Geoffrey James on Extraordinary Bosses

2 Replies to “6 Habits of Extraordinary Bosses by Geoffrey James”

  1. Bill,
    Great article! One thing that has always stuck with me (Exemplified by a Brigade S3 I worked for many years ago…) is that extraordinary bosses stand behind their employees to promote their successes to higher but stand in front of them to shield them from higher in the case of failures/mistakes (while simultaneously doing # 2 above!).

    1. Mark: Great to hear from you! I agree…and we owe it to our people to try and shield them from the BS, but also help mentor them at the same time…let them know that the BS is out there… so they know when they have to face it.

      Another key… always deflect credit. We (as leaders/commanders) can never do anything on our own and there is ALWAYS enough credit to go around….knowing I can do nothing solo… it always good to pass all success down, but own all failure.

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