At one time or another we have all had that boss that we could never seem to please. They seemed to challenge everything we did and kept us going from pillar to post trying to figure out how to satisfy them. You may have muttered a couple of words under your breath which are probably unprintable here as they continually reminded you that your work was not up to scratch, demanding you start again and get it right this time! All you wished for was a nice easy going boss. But that #$^% of a boss may actually have been the best thing for you.
For ambitious people the mark of a good boss is what they can learn from them. A manager who has the confidence and experience to drive a high performing team will take a disciplined approach to all aspects of managing the business. They won’t let the little things slide, they will demand perfection and have no hesitation sharing their disappointment when you don’t meet expectations.
That nice boss you dreamt about may have let you get away with slackening off, accepted your half-hearted efforts and failed to challenge you when you didn’t perform or failed to deliver. That’s great if you’re happy stagnating in your career, but can be a death knell for those who want to grow and progress.
Imagine you are an elite athlete preparing for the Olympics. Do you want your coach to be a softie, or someone that can bring out the best in you? Great coaches understand their role in motivating their team. They don’t accept second best and will always challenge any excuses for suboptimal performance. The same should apply for managers wanting to build a high performing team.
Just like any good sports coach, for you to reach your full potential your manager should:
- Set clear achievable targets that take you outside your comfort zone
- Demand the highest quality performance and be focused on achieving the best possible outcome
- Know you well enough to help you to overcome your weakness and maximise your strengths through a structured development plan
- Know how to motivate and drive you by understanding what makes you tick
- Never accept anything but your absolute best and not let you slacken off
- Support you when you fail or lose focus, but continue to expect more from you
- Give you regular constructive and honest feedback about your performance
- Instil self-discipline around your performance and ensure you stay accountable
- Treat you with respect and compassion
- Maintain a fun productive environment that reduces the stresses associated with operating in a high performance team
So next time your boss gives you a hard time, check on what your career goals are and decide whether this tough love is actually good for you in the long term or maybe its just that your boss really is just a #$%&!
© Gary Waldon and garywaldon.com 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Gary Waldon and garywaldon.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.