What do people in your organization do when decisions don’t go their way? Do they accept the decision even though they disagree with it? Do they demonstrate through their words and actions that they support the decision and that they’re committed to achieving the objective? When communicating inside or outside the organization, do they give the impression that they are completely on board? Do their actions follow their words?
After a client's recent EOS session, an owner of the company made a comment about the importance of repetition in mastering a skill. Specifically, he was talking about the weekly Level 10 meeting and, after just six meetings, how much better his team was becoming at identifying, discussing and solving issues, getting things done, improving communication and team health. He told his team, “Imagine how much better we’ll be after 52 weekly Level 10 meetings?”
You may have inherited, hired, or promoted people who you’ve recognized and rewarded for exceptional production and output—only to hear rumblings that they're getting those results in ways that damage your company’s reputation, aggravating fellow team members and undermining everything that you’re trying to accomplish for the long term. These are usually me-first versus we-first people who put their interests before the Core Values of the organization.
In the meantime, they continue to produce results, but they get those results in ways that go against the company culture. In other words, while they are highly productive short-term, they're killing your company long-term.
If you’re like most bosses, you do most of the talking. Frankly, this one-way-street behavior needs to change. Your job is to ensure that the dialogue is 80/20, where your direct report is doing 80% of the talking and you’re talking only 20% of the time. The only way to make that happen is to ask questions instead of making statements.
Here’s a guiding principle that will separate you from the pack of not-so-good bosses: A great boss creates a work environment where people are fully engaged and highly accountable.
How would you rate the level of accountability in your organization, on a scale of 1–10? If you’re like most bosses, you’d rate accountability low—maybe a 4. It’s one of the many people issues that frustrate you. You assign jobs to your people, only to be frustrated when they don’t follow through and accomplish them.
There are four truths that you must embrace if you truly desire to be a great boss. If you don’t embrace them, no amount of reading, teaching, coaching, or effort will make you great.