- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
If you want to be in management and you do not want to be known as "my boss the moron" to your employees, there are four very easy rules to follow.
Below is the most important of them all and even supersedes management. It is a rule of humanity.
Treat everyone under your responsibility as you would like to be treated.
Put yourself in their shoes. Walk a mile in their sandals. Do you like to be appreciated? Then appreciate! Do you like to be recognized? Then recognize! Do you like people to take an interest in you and maybe your family as well? Then take an interest! Do you like people to understand when your child is ill, or your spouse, or other family member? Then understand! Do you like people to lend a hand and help when you are down or misfortune finds you? Then lend a hand and help! Do you like when people realize a need of yours even when they do not fully understand why the need is important to you? Then realize! Do you like people who smile at you and have something good to say to you? Then smile and speak well! Do you like when people will simply listen when you need someone to just be there? Then listen and be there! Bosses do not follow nor understand Rule Number One. Leaders do! Bosses may sometimes seem like they know Rule Number One because they do things like a checklist. "I said good morning and let's see, I asked Charlie about his surgery, and let's see I complimented Ruth....." If it is not genuine, you are a boss. I worked for a boss at one time who would call mandatory meetings and begin them by saying, "thank you for coming to this meeting." They were meetings we had to attend. Why thank us for coming when we had no choice? He did this because in some workshop along the way he was told to thank employees for their efforts, and he did not have the common sense to know the difference between employees doing things because they had to and employees doing things because they wanted to. He was following a checklist. Make sure you thank your employees. Every time he did this we got quite the chuckle, and his respect level fell even further. Rule Number 1 is to treat everyone under your responsibility as you would like to be treated.
Being a leader as opposed to being a boss means different things.
People work for a boss. People work with a leader.
A boss looks after him or herself first and foremost and believes he or she serves a higher purpose or more crucial purpose to the company than other employees. A leader looks after everyone and shares an equal purpose to the company.
A boss tells people what to do or how they should do it. A leader requests people to achieve their responsibilities and asks them the best way to accomplish those responsibilities.
A boss believes they are the expert. A leader realizes that those they are responsible for are the experts because they are performing their tasks each day.
A boss believes that an employee's job should be the most important thing in their life. A leader believes that an employee's job is one of several important things in their life.
A boss demands while a leader requests.
A boss wants, but a leader asks.
A boss looks to improve their position in the company through incentives and promotions while a leader looks for everyone to benefit from the success of the company.
A boss wants to look good to those who are responsible for him or her. A leader wants his or her group to look good to those responsible for them.
The emotional well-being of everyone along the ladder creates success as it rises. If you have people who want to go to work and are motivated, then everyone benefits along the way. Eventually the customers or receivers of your product benefit as well. A boss cannot achieve these results, but a leader can indeed accomplish great things within any organization.
Another great example came about in my own household. When my twin daughters were in the seventh grade, they began to have expenses like going to a movie with friends, buying certain styles of clothing they liked, and CDs. I suggested a paper route, because I had made a pretty good income delivering newspapers as a 12-year-old. The twins could work together, take half the normal time to complete their route, and make a few dollars as well. Our local paper, at the time, delivered in the afternoons Monday through Friday and early morning on the weekends. It was a perfect fit for the girls after school, and they were able to get their duties out of the way early on the weekend. I helped them on weekend mornings because it would still be dark outside and I was a little uncomfortable with them out, at that time, by themselves. I was so proud of my daughters. They had about 90 customers and they did a great job. When Christmas came along, they made extra money in Christmas tips and their customers loved them. People would stop me while I was cutting grass and tell me how they really appreciated the job my daughters did and that they were the best newspaper carriers they ever had. During their second year of delivery, we decided to travel to Myrtle Beach for a vacation during Easter break. Up until this point, my daughters had never taken a day off. If one was busy, the other filled in and once in awhile their little brother, my son, filled in for them. Under my direction, my daughters called their manager and asked if they could have a week off and should they make any preparations. Their manager said that she would cover for them for the week and to enjoy their trip.
We had a wonderful vacation, and it was great to get away together. The day after we returned, my daughters went to school, came home, and dutifully waited in the driveway for their paper delivery. The papers never came. They called their manager and they were told that she became tired of covering for them and turned the route to someone else just two days earlier. By the way, this new carrier lasted two weeks, and the carriers after never lasted more than a couple of months. I was livid and my girls were heartbroken. Their manager never even called them to tell them not to wait for the papers. What a great reward for being outstanding employees. I know I am a little biased in this situation, but I suggested that my daughters write a letter to their customers explaining why they were no longer their paper carriers. The next thing we knew, several of my daughters' customers sent us copies of letters they had sent to the newspaper admonishing the newspaper for their actions against the girls and how the value of family time should be upheld. Family time being our vacation. Remember, it was the newspaper delivery manager who told my daughters to go on vacation and it would be covered. Several customers out of the original 90 or so cancelled their subscription. A couple of weeks later, the editor of the newspaper called me to tell me he was sending my daughters checks for one month severance pay and he wanted them to take their route again. My daughters, hurt from this betrayal, declined his offer. If this company would have treated my daughters as they would have wanted to be treated, this would have never happened. They lost two outstanding employees and several customers because they could not treat their own employees properly. In the long run, it would have been much better to just cover for two more days and life would have been so much easier for all involved. It just goes to demonstrate the difference between a boss and a leader.
Another example comes to mind regarding Rule Number 1. I once worked as a manager for a commercial cleaning company. We had a woman who worked four hours each evening cleaning the fourth floor of an office building. She had been with the company about ten years and she usually stayed at work up to five hours doing extra things because, even though she was only paid for four hours, her husband did not come home from work until later and she kept herself busy so she would get home when he did. I told her many times that she did not have to stay and work longer. One evening she asked me for a 25-cent raise. She was making, at that time, $4.50 per hour. (Yes, this was several years ago.) I approached our owner, who was an attorney, and told him of her request. He quickly and flatly refused my request for her. I explained that our customers loved her because she did extra things like cleaning out their refrigerator and cleaning their coffee pots. We would never be able to do this with someone else because they would not stay the additional time each evening. My plea fell on deaf ears; and, in my opinion, not very wise ears. When I told her of the decision, she said that she had worked ten years without a raise and to be turned down for a quarter was ridiculous. I agreed, but she still quit. Over the next two months the fourth floor of this particular building exploded with complaints. We simply could not provide the same service. Then one day our owner called me in about the situation and told me to call that woman back and give her the quarter raise. He announced this like he owned her and me. I laughed out loud and hearty. I could see his face begin to turn red. I then began to tell him that there was no way after two months I was going to call her and offer her a lousy quarter. I left his office still laughing. We eventually lost the customer for several reasons, but I believe the catalyst for the problems was the fourth floor when that woman left our company. I left the company before a year of service because I was still in search of a leader to work with and not a boss to work for.
At another point in my life, I worked in a sales position which demanded a great deal of cold calling. I was expected to call on potential customers and to spend the majority of the day trying to "get my foot in the door," of as many companies as I could. One day about two weeks into my new position, my car broke down and I needed a tow. As the tow truck was driving away with my car and I was getting into the car of a family member, who had come to give me a ride, I noticed my boss' car across the street in a parking lot. The car began to follow us to the service garage before leaving. Yes indeed, my boss was actually following me to make sure I was making my quota of cold calls. The next day I sat down in his office and asked him if he would like his boss to follow him while he was at work. He was silent. I asked him why he hired me two weeks prior if he did not trust me. He then went on about keeping his salespeople on-task and making sure they did not "goof-off" while at work. "It's easy to not maintain your discipline," he said. I told him if he ever followed me again that he would be following me to another job interview. I left the company two months later. He obviously did not treat me as he would have liked to be treated.
Coincidently, after leaving my sales job, I was hired at a radio station as an account executive to do the same thing as my previous sales position. My job entailed a great deal of cold calling in order to sell radio time. I remember stopping in the office on Friday afternoon of my first full week. My manager, who was not a boss, called me in and asked what I was doing. I told him that I had been out cold calling and I just stopped to report in and wrap up some loose ends before the weekend. He said, "Well that's the problem." I said, "What do you mean?" He then told me, "You are here the first thing every morning and last thing every evening. Don't get me wrong, but I don't want to see you." I was a little taken aback as he continued. "All I care about is results. I don't care if you are ever in the office again as long as you produce." I asked him how he would know I was working or putting in my hours. "If you get the job done in a one day and play golf every day for the rest of the week, I don't care. Just produce the sales numbers we expect. I don't care if you work one hour or eighty per week." I was soon the top seller of our four salesperson force. It was interesting that even when given the ok to work how I wanted, I actually put myself under a more strict discipline. I rarely stopped in the office again. I was working for a leader.
Referring back to the title of this chapter:
Treat everyone under your responsibility as you would like to be treated
While discussing this book with a friend, he reminded me about a story in regard to his boss. His daughter became married and he and his wife were very busy with plans and preparations leading up to the big day. Coworkers knew about the wedding and a few were invited as well. During the 2 weeks leading up to the wedding day, many coworkers asked him how the plans were going, if everyone was excited, and other usual pre-wedding questions. He did not hear a word from his boss. After the wedding upon his return to work Monday, many coworkers asked the usual post-wedding questions like, "How was the food? Did you have fun? Did you cry?" and so on. He did not hear a word from his boss. A week later, he met with his boss about a work related matter and she asked him, "So how is everything with you?" He said that everything was fine in response. Then she said, "Wasn't something going on with one of your kids.....your daughter maybe?" He responded , "Yes my daughter's wedding was last weekend." She looked at him and calmly said, "Oh I see." She then went about the business of the meeting. REALLY!?! She knew about the wedding before yet never acknowledged it and then when she did it was an off-the-cuff response that was nearly insulting. What a boss!!
It is impossible to be an effective leader without really knowing your employees. Employees do not come from an employee factory like pencils or other goods. Each employee is different and unique, and each employee carries with them their own individual story that you must learn. Rule Number 2 is;
Learn about each and every one of your employees. What is important to you may not be important to others and vice-verse.
Here is a story about a lady I will call Martha. When I was asked to run a large commercial service company for two owners who had several other business interests as well, I immediately became the manager for over 300 employees. These employees were office personnel, laborers, managers, sales people, full time, part time, hourly, and salary. Our labor force was scattered throughout the city each evening providing our service to over 100 companies. This is an especially difficult type of management because your employees are not all under one roof. It is also impossible to see all of your employees each day so you must be able to depend on them to carry out their tasks with little supervision. This can be a lot to ask at times from part-time employees whose full-time jobs are usually a top priority and they are fatigued at the end of the day. Martha was a longtime employee who only did the essentials of her job. She showed up, did her work, and left.
She constantly complained and called the office for raises and claimed she never had the proper tools for the job. S did not wear her uniform on the job. Since our mangers could not check on her each evening, who would know? Well, the customer did and tolerated it because, again, she did do what she was hired to do with nothing more and nothing less. Her job was done properly each evening. When I first met Martha she wasted no time in giving me the business; "So you're the new guy, you gonna give me more work and no more money and tell me to wear my uniform" .....etc. I made my visit a short one that evening and told Martha I appreciated her years of service and I would look into the budget on the account to see if a raise was feasible reminding her that there were no promises. The next week, Martha called to say she could not make it to work the following evening. I asked her why and she grumbled she would not feel well. I calmly pressed her for an answer and she said, "It's my Betsy's birthday tomorrow and I want to celebrate with her." I smiled on my end of the phone and said, "Why didn't you say so in the first place, of course you can have the evening off. Tell Betsy happy birthday for me! Is Betsy your daughter?" The reply was a short quiet, "no." I questioned further and found to my surprise that Betsy was Martha's dog. When this information was finally revealed, Martha grumbled again and said, "Suppose that changes your mind huh?" I then told Martha that if Betsy was that important to her and this would be a special day for her then it was important to me that she take the evening off and enjoy her Betsy's birthday. Dead silence followed on the phone. Then a very weak, "see ya later" followed, and Martha hung up the phone. The following evening I went to the building where Martha worked and brought a dog biscuit and a chew toy from the dollar store- last of the big spenders I was. I asked my wife to tie a little bow of ribbon on the chew toy. My wife thought I was nuts. When I saw Martha, I asked if she enjoyed her night off with Betsy and offered the day-late birthday gifts. I joked that I did not get a card because they all had kittens on them at the store. Martha did not laugh, but instead just stared at me for what seemed like a long time but was in reality a few uncomfortable seconds. She took the gifts, asked me if I needed anything else, and then turned away and returned to her work. I did not know what to think and left matters as they were. The very next day, my phone buzzed and our secretary said, "Martha is on the line." I thought to myself, "Oh boy, what now?" I picked up the phone and Martha said quickly and quietly, "Betsy ate her biscuit and likes her toy." I simply told her I was glad. There was a little silence and then she said to me, "If you ever need help covering for anyone else who needs the day off, call me and I'll help.... bye." I sat there with the phone to my ear after she had hung up. I told the others in the office what had transpired and about her offer, and they were in disbelief as well. In the end, Martha and I became great friends and she began to do extra at work and would ask the customers if she needed to do anything else or if they had special requests. She was always willing to lend a hand; and, while she did her job before, she became more than just an employee. She was an example to all and she seemed to enjoy herself at work. You see, Martha's dog was important to her even though I thought giving an employee the day off for their dog's birthday was the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of, and so did the owners of the company. It demonstrated to her that we believed in her and understood what was important to her. In short, we took care of her needs as an employee and she truly appreciated us. She no longer looked at us as the enemy or people trying to squeeze what they could from her, but instead she realized we did care and we did have her best interest in mind.
Excerpted from Is Your Boss A MORON? by MARC THOMAS Copyright © 2012 by Marc Thomas. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.