February 5, 2009

Are you a hypocrite boss?

Should this letter be addressed to you? Bosses may have it a bit tough sometimes – always being the ‘bad guy’, the one that needs to change. Staff aren’t perfect of course, but they are a reflection of their boss in many ways.

I think the main problem with bosses is that they are oblivious (or in denial) about their management and leadership abilities and performance. They judge their performance by their intentions, not by their actions.

A fan of The Boss Benchmark told me recently that when reading the book he kept thinking “gee my boss needs to take notice of that” yet the list he had for himself to improve on was suspiciously short. This guy had enough insight to know that something was not quite right about that! He realised he was probably seeing his skills through rose tinted glasses. So… he gave the book to a couple of his direct reports so THEY could tell him areas they wish he’d improve on. GENIUS! I hadn’t even thought of that myself! (This tip will be added to the intro for The Boss Benchmark second edition which should be ready about the end of March).

Number 35 in the book is ‘Don’t Be Soft On Yourself’ which is about getting real and being your harshest critic. Don’t take things personally; instead ask tough questions of yourself such as:
When am I a hypocrite?
When do I practise what I preach?
When don’t I practise what I preach?
Where am I showing a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude?

When you become awesome, so should your staff as they are a reflection of the attitude, skills and expectations of the boss. Before you criticize them, search yourself.

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