I received a couple of email (why email?? stop being shy, and post your comments, folks!! make this blog a little more interactive upfront) with regards to my previous post on Talent. In that post, I pointed out that problems within a company, can invariably be traced back to leadership, and bad bosses.

Most of those who wrote in, agreed with me and shared their own “boss experiences” (too explicit to print here). However I got the feeling, they assumed I was just out to trash “bosses” – which is far from what I had in mind, having been a “boss” myself for the last 10 years!

The fact is, I always took ownership of problems and tried to address them the best way I could – with inputs from my own bosses (thank you Abhinav, Nirvik, Arvind, Sanjeev) and the people that worked under me (thanks Sam, Arun, Shikha, Suruchi…)  The truth is, I promise you, I always knew any problem within the team, was usually do to some action or inaction of mine, giving rise to my belief in the “Boss” theory.

At the same time, the influence of my own boss was strong in my own dealings with people (my no. 2 problem theory, coming soon)! I sometimes did or said things I wouldn’t have done (good and bad) which weren’t me!

So when they were angels, the sun shone out of my you know what, but where they ****ed with my mind for their own agenda – I ended up being a pain in the you know where!

To summarise, here are some do’s and don’ts I learned along the way, which should be of great help to any Boss to read, and a great tool to judge the one above you!

Good Bosses Should:

  • Define Roles of everyone and respect their boundaries (if you want smooth functioning at all times)
  • Speak Politely to everyone, irrespective of rank (being rude or gruff doesn’t make you powerful, it makes you pathetic!)
  • Always profile your teams and their experience with external customers (It assures customers of stature and solidity, rather than solo seconds from you)
  • Encourage people below to learn your own job and what you do (how else will bosses move up to higher things?!)

Good Bosses Should Not:

  • Don’t ever use “I” in presentations, unless you’re specifically asked for your personal opinion (experience tells us, most people who say “I did this” usually did not!)
  • Don’t snap fingers or use hand gestures to call or dismiss anyone (hand signals are for the physically challenged and traffic police)
  • Don’t encourage so called “harmless gossip” or any form of “backbiting” (if you show it’s okay to bitch about others, you’re licensing them to bitch about you!)
  • Don’t sleep with juniors, and certainly not with married ones (it ain’t you buddy, it’s the position – but then for many it is the only way, right??)

That’s my two bit worth of learning about being a good boss and managing talent with the right spirit and true professionalism.

Feel free to add to the list, by posting comments below (not by sending me email!)

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