Ever been a boss and been clear that the team truly WANTED you to don the dunce cap, but didn’t give it to you in fear for their jobs? It has likely happened to the best of us. Sometimes we realize we’ve done something that makes us look completely foolish, sometimes we don’t. So, how do you avoid looking stupid, silly, self centered or any number of not so nice labels when you’ve been promoted to the boss position and you’ve got all the power, but also a reputation to uphold and a team to lead? Here are a few sure fire methods for being brilliant and a good boss.
Admit When You’ve Done Something Wrong
We all make mistakes. All of us. Admit when you have and learn from it as quickly as possible. If it was a particularly big blunder, well, okay, wallow for a few moments, and then move on. It’s when we don’t admit we’ve messed up that we look really silly as everyone else has noticed and is merely waiting for us to own the error. Besides, when you admit it, it makes you human and humans make much better leaders.
Ask for Help
In Contagious Leadership, Chapter 3 shares Contagious Leaders Ask For Help From Those They Lead (who are often closer to the problem than you are), yet it also talks about how much confidence and self esteem it can take to ask for help. No one wants to look like they don’t know or look silly for asking something they believe they “should” know, but in this case the old adage “stop ‘shoulding’ all over yourself” and ask for help, applies. Besides, most of the time employees feel special and honored when you show them how valuable they are by asking for help.
Before you assume, before you make demands, and certainly before you accuse someone of something you aren’t 100% convinced they did, ask, ask, ask, ask, ask, and then ask some more. One of the best ways to be completely informed, make informed decisions, and look like you know what is going on is to… well… know what is going on and you can do that by asking questions. And watch your tone when you ask as that will make all the difference in the world as to the answers you receive.
No one wants to look stupid and a title isn’t going to prevent you from having those moments. However, with focus, a few simple techniques, and the authentic belief that just because you were promoted doesn’t mean you know it all or have to know it all, you can increase your chances of being brilliant much more often. And oh, brilliance and valuing employees, and showing them you’re human? Yes, those are all contagious!
Monica Wofford, MBA, CSP, is an international speaker, trainer, and author who helps managers who were promoted, actually become prepared to lead.