Habits of Extraordinary Bosses

 They Coach But Don't Interfere

Average bosses can't "let go" of what they're good at. They're constantly intervening when things aren't done the way they'd prefer. This not only lowers motivation but also turns the manager into a "gatekeeper" for any activity--causing productive work to grind to a halt.

Extraordinary bosses know that their primary responsibility is to let people do their jobs and provide coaching when necessary or requested. Such bosses realize that it's impossible for workers to think strategically when their time and energy are getting consumed with details of tactical execution.

They Put Their Employees First

Average bosses put most of their attention on customers, investors, other managers, and their own career. In this priority scheme, employees rank dead last--if they're even on the list. Unfortunately, employees can sense when a boss doesn't care about them, and they respond by not caring about their jobs.

Extraordinary bosses know that the best way to please investors, peers, and customers is to put the employees first. They realize that it's employees who create, build, sell, and support the products that customers buy, thereby creating investor value and advancing a manager's career.

They Manage People, Not Numbers

Average bosses focus on numbers rather than people. They jiggle revenue and profit numbers, monkey with statistics and data, and spend more time worrying about their spreadsheets than making things happen.

Extraordinary bosses know that numbers represent only the history of what's happened--and understand that the best way to have great numbers is to make sure that that the job gets done. They realize that their responsibility is to manage people and their activities so the numbers take care of themselves.

They Ask Questions Rather Than Give Answers

Average bosses think their job is to know all the answers and to provide those answers to their employees as frequently as possible. However, each time a boss answers an employee's question, that boss robs the employee of an opportunity to think and grow.

Extraordinary bosses know that people don't learn when wisdom is handed to them on a platter, much less forced down their throats. They know that a manager's job is to ask the questions that will spark, in the employee's own mind, the thought processes and ideas that will make that employee successful.

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