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How to Be a Better Boss

A good friend of mine recently returned to the 9-to-5 office world after several years of World's Best Boss mugfreelancing while her kids were small, and she asked me if I had any advice about being a better boss, since she’s managing a team for the first time in several years.

And with Labor Day fast approaching, and having recently had the pleasure of a delightful lunch with the woman who taught me much of this, now seemed a good time to share what I learned from my first, best boss in my association career.

  • Treat people equitably (which is not the same thing as equally).
  • Praise in public, correct in private.
  • Adapt your style to your team’s personalities to the greatest degree possible.
  • Take an appropriate level of interest in them as people – you’re not their best friend, but they’re also not robots.
  • Be wildly generous in sharing credit.
  • Protect your team. Shit ALWAYS stops with you – it NEVER rolls downhill onto your people.
  • Set clear expectations and manage at the minimum your people need to achieve them. Don’t micromanage.
  • Don’t ask your people to do something you wouldn’t do.
  • Make sure they have authority commensurate with their responsibilities.
  • Find out what they’re interested in learning and seek opportunities for them to learn it.

And if you can’t remember all that, just remember this one thing:

Don’t be a jerk.

Happy last weekend of summer, y’all!

Image found here (and you should click the link, because it contains some good advice, too).

 

 

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About Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE

Elizabeth Weaver Engel, M.A., CAE, is CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting LLC. Elizabeth has over 19 years of experience helping associations grow, in membership, marketing, communications, public presence, and especially revenue, which is what Spark is all about. She speaks and writes frequently on a variety of topics in association management. When she's not helping associations grow, Elizabeth loves to dance, listen to live music, cook, garden, and blog about the Philadelphia Eagles.
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