Becoming the Good Boss

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whatgoodbossesknowIf you want to order people, the answer you will hear back from them will be: “Just tell me what you want”, Jill Geisler, head of leadership and management programs at Poynter Institute, warned us during a workshop, in a round room at McCain Institute. “Just tell me what you want” is the typical reaction of a demotivated employee, in response to a failed strategy.

Geisler is the author of “Work Happy: What Great Bosses Know,” a book meant to provide help to leaders in all fields and all over the world. She also worked on “What Great Bosses Know”, a series of podcasts available on iTunes. During the workshop, Geisler shared some valuable tips for building healthy relationships between the management and the employees.

She started by mentioning her own mistakes, made especially when she was editing other journalists’ articles. In fact, it was the easier way, one that didn’t allow her colleague to improve, and, even more, often destroyed his self-confidence. Why he do better if he knew that his article will be dramatically transformed anyway? A pattern was created. Replacing a bad manager with a good one is the equivalent of adding one employee to a team of nine.

“People sometimes tell me they hold back on taking initiative or responsibility beyond their current role, because they don’t want to overstep their boundaries. I respect that concern. I also think people can be overly cautious and talk themselves out of acts of leadership.   There’s a big difference between taking over, butting in, grabbing power — and simply stepping up. That’s what leaders do. They step up. Carefully. Collaboratively. Considerately.”

Jill Geisler,

What else do great bosses know? That they cannot treat everybody the same. It might be surprising, as it fully contradicts a golden rule: “Do to others what others do to you”. It is because this golden rules presumes that everybody likes the same things. A good boss knows the members of his team and, by that, he is able to identify the best ways to communicate with each of them.

A good leader also knows that people fall in love with ideas and solutions of their own creation. He only helps shaping the framework and makinh people find their own approach to the project/story.

Edited by David Van En