Being a Boss

Being a Boss

This is literally the fifth time I have started this blog post. I keep deleting my introduction and I think it’s because there is no real way to define or describe what it is to be a boss. For so long, I have associated the word, ‘boss’ with something negative and I think it’s because of my previous experiences but that’s a story for another post. Recently, I started to embrace the title because I realized that being a boss is defined by the person in the role and not the title. I also believe that a boss is largely defined by the people you are managing and if you are fortunate enough to select those people yourself, being a boss can be extremely rewarding. There are books, articles, webinars and podcasts which are helpful but there is no specific manual on how to be a successful boss. Maybe it’s naïve but I disagree with the tactics employed by some of the most successful people in the world. For example, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon with a net worth of more than 100 billion, preaches about the benefits of micromanaging your employees. That has worked for him but that will never work for me. In my opinion, if you don’t trust your team to manage their work to the best of their ability than you hired the wrong person. As long as I do not feel as though people are taking advantage of my desired approach, I trust each person I hire implicitly or I would not have hired that person.

As a boss, there are days when I feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders.  One particular trigger is when an employee asks “if we can talk” without any context. I assume the worst. A few years ago, a treasured employee of mine, sent me an email on a Sunday morning as I was boarding a 4-hour flight – it read:

“Hi Jacqui,

Can we meet alone tomorrow morning at 8:30, I need to speak with you.”

That was not a pleasant flight. It was exactly what I feared but I accepted it and I am still in touch and very supportive of this person.

It’s equally as difficult to be the bearer of bad news but as a boss, that’s my job. Firing someone is not something I take lightly, I weigh all of the options and after many constructive conversations, if there is no improvement, I have to do what’s best for Gossip Genie but I hate it because I know it’s saying goodbye to someone that I truly respect and like. No one wants to stay in touch with someone that has fired them and I understand that but in a perfect world, we would all end on good terms.

I am going to conclude this post with the most ludicrous requests and excuses from former employees:

  1. “Can I leave on Wednesday at 3pm? I have a colonic.”
  2. “Do you mind if I take Friday off to spend some quality time with my dog before I go away for the weekend?”
  3. “I am sorry, I was late for the conference call, I was out for a run because the weather is so nice today and I have plans after work.”

I suppose you can commend these people for being honest.

Jacqueline Liberman
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