Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wanna BeThe Boss? Get Used To These Ten Things


Granted, there are a lot of perks to being a leader.  Like having a flexible schedule and being able to affect the way things really work.  Like people treating you differently - and better - because you're the boss.

Yup, that's fun.

But there are challenges, too:

1)  You're being watched constantly by your staff, by top administration and by other leaders.  Your life, during business hours, is lived in a fish bowl.

2)  You must always pay attention to what, and how, you are communicating.  Who's your audience?  What are the politics?  How sensitive is this issue in the big picture?  How 'real' can you be?

3)  As a leader, you must deal with things that have gone wrong as soon as they go wrong.  This means you are always ready to address poor performance, insubordination and sheer stupidity at any time, on any given day.  You will have to fire people.

4)  At meetings with your staff, you will often be left sitting with an empty chair on each side because no one wants to appear they are sucking up to the boss.

5)  If you make friends with someone outside of your area, you may eventually become their boss and the relationship will change. Work friendships are shallow.

6)  You will never be 'one of the girls/guys' to your staff.  They will always view you differently.  And you are different.  Get over it and enjoy your friends outside of work.

7)  You should never laugh at, nor comment on, a co-worker's obvious nose job.  Nothing you say is private.  Listen, smile and keep your mouth shut. 

8)  In leadership, alliances are fluid depending on who needs what at any given time.

9)  If you want to make an impact on your organization, you must take risks and propose ideas that no one else has thought of.  If done well, this takes tremendous energy and stamina.

10)  Just when you think you have the situation under control, something will happen that throws you; priorities suddenly change, the torch you have carried is passed to another or the promotion you believed was yours does not materialize.  

In leadership, you must constantly recalibrate your mindset to keep your passion and performance alive.

The timid need not apply.


  1. People often say to me, "that must be a fun job!" and are annoyed with me when I reply in the negative. You've really captured what it means to be the Boss (even on the smaller scale that I work in!). Interestingly, this post really lifts my spirits. :)

  2. Hi deeHowe - thanks for your comment! People have no idea what it's really like unless they've been there themselves. I'm glad you relate and that my post could lift your spirits. Good luck in your role!

  3. Thank you Josephine! :)

  4. I do want to be the boss someday.

    Thanks for posting! Good luck! Seems like us sensitive people can find a downfall to a lot of otherwise enviable things, huh?



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