the ceo magazine, leadership
Jason Hogg, Senior Lecturer at Cornell University

The relationship between a boss and an employee can make a huge impact on performance, work culture, productivity and communication in any job.  Naturally, expectations and social norms are different between colleagues and supervisors -- but how can you maintain that balance?

Here are some tips on how bosses from any kind of field can properly brand themselves to their employees:

1. No Messiah Complexes- Your role is not to ride in on the white horse all the time to save the day, but rather to make sure everyone is leveraging their strengths and working effectively to deliver a successful outcome as a team.  Your job security should come from advancing the business, not pointing to individual accomplishments.

2. Don’t Micromanage- If you have the right people on your team, give them guidance, support and advice and then let them do their jobs.  Set clear objectives with budget, scope and timing and then ask your subordinates what you can do to help them succeed.  If you’re micromanaging, you either don’t have the right people for the job--or you’re a control freak.

3. Be Consistent- Don’t drive the bus all over the road; it only makes everyone nauseous.  Make sure to set clear expectations with regard to the work environment, hours, meeting etiquette, office behavior and then stick with it.

4. Highlight Noble Failure- Most people don’t wake up in the morning and think, “Boy I can’t wait to go to work and screw things up for everyone today.”  If your team is pushing the envelope and being aggressive in growing your business, mistakes will be made.  Don’t punish subordinates for valiant efforts on your behalf that fall short. Instead, sit down as a member of the team, analyze what went wrong so you don’t repeat the mistake and then shake it off.  People will keep going the extra mile for you if they know you won’t use them as cannon fodder.

5. Don’t be a Vulcan- While there’s a ton to be said for being logical and even keeled, don’t be devoid of emotion and lack empathy.  In order to engender trust, share your personal side and be genuine in your dealings with subordinates.  It’s ok to high-five a success or show disappointment at a failure--it shows you’re in it together.

 


About the Author

Jason Hogg is an entrepreneur, founder of Revolution Money and Senior Lecturer at Cornell University. An expert business leader, Jason knows how important a boss’ reputation is when it comes to their employees.  

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