Monday, March 26, 2012

Bosses Who Get Great Results

A good boss understands that relationships matter.  People will work harder for someone they like. 

Too many bosses simply try to "rule" their employees.  No one likes being "mastered".  Being "commanded" is even more demotivating.  Using your position of authority to force someone into action is not the most effective method of leading.

In the church, we have a great challenge.  Bill Hybels has said that the church is one of the most leadership-intensive organizations in the world, because we have to find a way to motivate people to serve of their own free will.  We don't hold a paycheck over their heads; they don't get promoted, so there is no advantage to themselves for working extra hard; and threatening to terminate them would be - some days - like setting them free. 

People are internally motivated when they believe that what they are doing is important.  Bossing a person around like a slave makes them feel belittled and insignificant.   

People want to be respected.  Deriding someone who went through strict training and is a professional at what they do is even less effective.

People need to be equipped.  People are motivated to do what they believe in when they are given the tools they need to succeed.  Even when working with professionals, the "boss" has specific expectations that are unique to his or her style of leadership.  No employee should be automatically expected to know how to please their boss.  The boss should:

1.  Communicate clearly - Make your expectations known.
2.  Avoid playing games - Employees want to trust their boss.
3.  Stop gossip - Do not promote it by having "spies".  Dividing your workers kills morale.

Whether you use the word, "boss," or "leader," these are valuable things to remember.  Ultimately, the old addage stands true:  "Leadership is Influence."  You can "Influence" by being an overbearing, command-giving tyrant.  You will always have a lot of turn-over, low morale and dissatisfied employees. 

The best employees will be working for someone who appreciates them as professionals , as colleagues, and as people.  When you can influence quality, solid and exceptional people to work toward a common goal, you will have a business, a church or a school which will produce high-quality results.

If you ever had a great working situation, what was it about your boss that influenced the positive atmosphere?  What motivates you to give your best?


Jennifer said...

My working relationship with my boss had its struggles at first. I prayed to Jesus for guidance and help. My confidence and work performance improved. My boss noticed a change in me. Our relationship began to change. My boss began recognizing my accomplishments, which gave me a sense of value to the organization. Today we have a great working relationship. I thank the Lord!

Phil said...

The challenge my wife and I are having is finding a church that needs us as much as we need it. I have found that if the relationship is not symbiotic, you will have a church that begs people to help out or indivduals who don't know where to plug into.