Have you ever had a boss who was not afraid to be a boss and make a decision? And a mirror question to that: Have you ever had a boss who did not take the role upon her/him and didn’t step up to the plate? If you have exprienced one of them you may get a hint, if you’ve tried both you know what we are referring to: The immense difference it makes when bosses dare to be bosses.
We are strong advocates of modern leadership and at times we even dare to consider Fire & Shield the embodiment of this trend. Democratic principles, true employee engagement, delegation and empowerment are strong values to lead and to live by in any organization, under any circumstances. However, you must add authority and decision-making to this to create the optimum conditions for long term performance.
We meet so many empathic, engaged and inspired leaders who truly care about their teams, the organization’s values and the customer’s experience. Yet for some reason they shy away from calling the shots and using the authority the organization has vested in them. This leaves their employees in a vacuum of indecisiveness, unsure whether to go left or right, whether to charge forward and execute on a new plan or hold their breath and wait it out to check if it will be altered.
Think back to your school days. The best teachers were never those who were friends with you and your class mates, who let you have time off whenever the sun was out and who always understood how you felt. The best teachers were those who weren’t afraid to exercise just a bit of authority, to say “no” when appropriate and who challenged you to excel, knowing your true potential better than yourself. While they may not have won the popularity vote at the time, we would bet they got the long term benefit award. The same goes for bosses.
If you have the privilege of being someone else’s boss you have being given an amazing opportunity to develop and grow talent while serving the organization and its customers as best as you can. But it can’t be done from the bench. You must engage yourself in the task and make the necessary decisions, being the boss when it is required of you. Of course some of those decisions will be wrong, and getting input from your team and colleagues is always a great idea, but the decision is yours and it must be made.
In a work place where bosses dare to be bosses without abusing their authority everyone thrives. Employees, customers and shareholders alike.