I love the way that children can come out with words of wisdom and just the other day when walking through a wood with my grandson, he announced that the only thing we can really be boss of is ourselves! Very true, whatever might happen the only thing we can really control are our own responses.Our thoughts, our words, our actions and while we can’t always control our feelings, we can decide what we do with them.
That got me thinking about the qualities of a good boss, it doesn’t matter that the only person we may be boss of is ourselves, in many ways that is the most important ‘boss’ role we will ever have because it impacts our own life. So, I’ve listed below some of the characteristics of a good leader or ‘boss’ and we can apply these to our own lives.
Any leader will usually have a plan. This might be one of their own design or they may be fulfilling someone else’s plan, but an overall vision is important otherwise activity will be random and lack any sense of clear purpose. That usually means that little or no progress is made – after all you must have some vision to work towards to add any kind of meaning to what you do.
Daily goals, acts or action
The tricky bit for someone who is a leader or boss of other people is communicating their vision to the people they may be leading. The luxury we have when it comes to us being boss within our own lives is that we don’t actually need to communicate that to anyone else – but we do need to make sure that we stay in touch with our own vision and one of the ways we can do that effectively is to break it down into goals so we actually take steps to move forward. In management terms this is where bosses set targets, and these may be related to appraisals or bonuses. Incentives for good performance or reaching targets are often offered. Hopefully as individuals we won’t need to do this as the rewards are more intrinsic – it is us pursuing our own goals but giving ourselves shorter term tasks to accomplish can be very motivating.
Another important feature of leadership is holding people to account. Perhaps a bit tricky when it is us. Either we can be ‘soft’ with ourselves and allow a lot of drift which often leaders wouldn’t allow.The consequence is that we won’t make any progress toward our goals. The other problem is that we can end up beating ourselves up and that can also incapacitate us and prevent any move forward. A wise leader would hold people to account but also give encouragement making sure they shared the vision, had clear expectations, and had the skills they needed.But they would also be held accountable.
One of the things that can offer great encouragement is tracking progress and seeing how far you have come. It’s usually the responsibility of a boss – but it is something we can often forget to do for ourselves. So, it is important to build in times when we reflect, look back and see how far we’ve come. This is always easier when we have given ourselves reallyclear goals and specific things to achieve so we can tell that we are moving forward.
If you have ever worked for a boss that you would define as ‘good’, the chances are they will have been someone who values people. Leaders who get the best from people are usually those who care, who notice and remember things about people, and they treat people with respect. So, when it comes to being your own boss in the sense of acknowledging that you are in control of YOU and what you think and do, this translates to demonstrating self-respect and self-care. You might not get everything right, you might make mistakes, but a good boss would still value people even while holding them to account. That means we should do the same. Giving ourselves a hard time is rarely effective and can rob us of confidence and motivation.
Enjoy what you do
While it can’t be denied that some aspects of any job might be a bit mundane agood boss can engender a bit of fun, they may organise treats or provide things that make people feel valued and enjoy what they do. Life is meant to be enjoyable. If you do not enjoy life then it is definitely time to start taking a long hard look at the different components of your life and ask what needs to change so you can start to live life to the full and enjoy as many aspects of your life as possible.
For some people reading this, maybe now is the time to start being a boss and take charge of your own life. It is the only one you’ll have and for most of change happens when we make it – we can sit back and wait but while we do that life may drift by without us dong the things we want – so go on be a boss!
If this article resonates with you check out my latest book ‘Make it magnificent – available of Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Make-Magnificent-yourself-achieve-dreams/dp/0993476120 or on our website www.attunededcuation.com