Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Not the Boss of Me

My dear Grandson has a very dear older sister - he is 5 - she is 7. The wisdom and savvy she has gained in those two extra years makes her an expert on many subjects. On occasion she wants to share her vast experiences with her brother and give him clear direction about what he should do or should not do. His response: "You are not the boss of me."

I was very fortunate as a boy - I had four older sisters and they were a storehouse of knowledge, expertise, and advanced skills. On occasion they were willing to share their superior know how with me and give me the instruction I so sorely needed. My response: "You are not the boss of me."

For whatever reason, none of us like to be bossed around and we resist it vigorously. For some, it is such an issue they have a hard time ever keeping a job. For others, it means they always want to be "their own boss" (chuckle, chuckle).

Leadership and being bossy are not the same thing. Plenty of people are bossy but they are lousy leaders. After 30 plus years of fumbling around trying to learn more and more about the dynamics of good leadership, I have learned a few things.

People respond to honesty and hard work. If you want to be a leader, you must be willing to work harder and be more transparent and truthful than the average person.

People respond to good listeners. If you are full of yourself and never listen to others don't expect them to follow your lead.

People respond to joy. If you really enjoy what you are doing and demonstrate that daily it is contagious and people catch it!

Some years ago, a fellow I knew had some special needs. He seemed different, had some odd behaviors and talked too loud at times. We talked often. He would often ask me who my "boss" was and before I could answer he would say, with a big smile on his face, "God is your boss, right?" I would say "Yes sir - God is my boss - the best boss anyone could ever have!"

I miss being able to say that - so there it is - I said it and it is true - I have the best boss any one could have. My boss has taught me so much about how to be the right kind of leader. Thanks boss.

Just thinking, Steve

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