What Great Bosses Know

December 23, 2012 — Leave a comment

I don’t know about you, but when I go grocery shopping, I always try to go early in the morning so I can avoid the crazy people.  Sorry if you are one of those “crazy” people.  😉

A couple of weeks ago, I was doing my best to avoid the madness when I had the good fortune of running into someone that reminded me of why I do what I do.  This person was my boss many years ago; the boss that gave me a frame of reference for great leadership that has guided me for close to 20 years.

What Great Bosses Know

Photo courtesy of Flickr contributor, “V&A Steamworks”

For the sake of anonymity  let’s call this person “Alice”.  Alice was a store manager for a “whopper” of a fast food company.  I don’t remember exactly how it happened, but she actually replaced our first store manager.  When Alice took over, the place was a disaster.  I’m telling you, I remember late night keg parties in the dinning room.  I remember day old burgers being served to people like it was nothing.  I even remember weed being sold out of the drive-thru!

To say Alice had her hands full was an understatement!

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So, what did she do that caused such an impact on me?  She cleaned house, first of all.  She came in and rocked everyone’s world!  Failure was not an option. Anything less than excellence was unacceptable.  The smallest detail mattered.  The funny thing about all of this was that she wasn’t a tyrant about it.  She was stern, but she taught us.  She was tough on results, but praised on performance.  We celebrated our wins together.

She understood how to get the most out of us by keeping us engaged in a vision.

Here are some of the traits that made Alice a great boss; traits that should be emulated by anyone aspiring to be great:

  • People want to be part of a winning team; setting audacious goals and helping your team achieve them will instill loyalty & excitement.
  • Be a teacher to everyone; show them the right and the wrong without being critical.  Praise when possible.
  • Find your passion in whatever you do.  Share that passion with your people.  Share the joy that comes with that.

These things may seem simple, and in a way they are.  However, after many years, my time with Alice has been the guiding light that has told me when something wasn’t right with a leader. I can tell you that I would have done anything for Alice.  She had my loyalty.  I cried when I left that job and still consider it one of my best job experiences to this date.

Question:  How do you instill loyalty & excitement on your current team?