Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tips for Being a Good Boss

How can you be a Good Boss? 
Often, I think it is easier to explain how to NOT be a Good Boss.  I think that we have all had a gross boss or two in our lives (I know that I have – sit next to me at the next shindig and I’ll tell you all about her/him/it) and I learned as much about being a Good Boss watching them treat people badly as I have watching a Good Boss shine.  And I am not saying that I am the best boss, either.  I have made mistakes and will continue to do so.  But, IMHO, here are a few tips for becoming a Good Boss:
  • Be honest.  Most of the time, your staff can take the truth – give it to them.  Tell them why you made the decision you did or why you are not going to be able to hire another person to do such and such.  Everyone sleeps better at night knowing that they were dealt with in an honest manner – including you.
  • Seek diversity in opinion.  I believe that the best way to make a decision is to look at all sides.  Your staff can help you to see that your initial decision isn’t always the best decision.  And keep your door open – everyone feels more comfortable knowing they can have your attention pretty much any time.
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff.  In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter if Susie Q calls her mom each afternoon?  If she checks facebook a few times?  A little fun in Susie Q’s day makes Suzie Q a happy employee, plus maybe Susie Q can transition into your Social Media Maven for Moms!
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff unless it is driving you ab-so-f’n-lutley crazy.  Finally, someone has to tell the people who use the microwave that they have to clean it.  You are the boss, after all.
  • Remember that your staff members are not your friends.  I know that this sounds funny coming from me, as those of you who know me know that I consider some of my co-workers my very best friends.  But a wise CPD board member once told me something that I’ll never forget.  She said, “Paige, your staff members don’t think of you as their friend.  You are their boss.”  Even though I absolutely love all of the staff at Community Partners of Dallas and would fight a circle-saw for every single one of them, I must make decisions that are first and foremost for the best of the abused and neglected kids served by our agency.
What are your tips?


  1. Great tips, Paige! Totally agree with you. Giving employees the authority that goes along with the level of responsibility they have is good too.

  2. With you on that for sure, Tami! It is the only way to manage a large staff -- they have to be trusted to get the work done and not micromanaged!