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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"I'm the boss and can do whatever I want!"

Oh, no!

You want to take the express lane straight to employee disengagement? Start using phrases like this and you most certainly will.

Isn't this the response (or something like it) that we might give when we're strongly questioned by our team, when we're pushed about what we're doing? It's a very defensive sounding statement. I have used statements like this a few times in my career (hopefully not too many times). I had made a statement or ruling or pronounced some "thing" was going to happen or not going to happen and it didn't make sense to my folks. Rightly, they questioned me. I think, because I hadn't made a decision based solidly on facts or because I didn't totally feel confident in what I was deciding or because I had failed to keep my team in the loop (and then they could have helped me ensure I was looking at a situation properly), I got my back up. I felt backed into a corner and I lashed out with, "because I'm the boss, that's why".

What I needed to do was check my ego at the door.

Leaders are not great and wonderful all by themselves. They make mistakes and are not infallible. That's why we have teams...not just to have people to boss around.

We need to challenge our people and let them challenge us (respectfully, both ways). We need to involve them and empower them with responsibility. We need to help them feel like key stakeholders in their jobs or in a project or with some task.

Leading is not about being the boss. Leading is about inspiring and guiding and teaching and pushing our people to excel at their make everyone succeed.

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