Today is National Boss's Day, and at Fierce, we know that great leaders are learners. While we hope you receive accolades and maybe a yummy treat from those you lead today, it's also important to take the time to look at areas you can improve your management and solicit feedback from your team.
The first step is to know how you lead, so today ask yourself: What type of leader am I?
In our experience, while we see many types of bosses there are 4 common styles of leadership. Check out the styles below and get a quick tip on ways you can improve your leadership for a more productive and engaged team. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself!
The Dictator – often characterized as someone who gives orders, the Dictator’s behavior may be a factor of more than just personality. Combine lack of time, a demanding role, mixed with stress, and you’ve got a recipe for a Dictator, someone that seems to simply walk, or sometimes run, around giving orders with little or no appetite for feedback.
Fierce tip – Proactively solicit feedback from employees and coworkers. Motivate and empower direct reports to employ creative problem solving. It is entirely likely that they have useful perspectives, new insights on issues, and opportunities for innovation.
The Cheerleader (aka the Softie or the Friend) – this boss type is easy to work with day-to-day, but in the long haul employees become dissatisfied because they aren’t challenged or given enough constructive feedback to make them better at their jobs.
Fierce tip – Avoid cultivating a culture of nice. Talk openly and honestly with employees about both their achievements and areas that need improvement. Be timely by addressing things as they occur and don’t sugar coat it – employees are not children.
The Visionary (aka the Innovator) – focused more on what’s next and what the business will look like in 10 or even 20 years. The Visionary is an inspirational personality for which to work, but may not have much input on the day-to-day work.
Fierce tip – Remember to stay grounded with employees. Balance challenging them to think about the future while addressing current performance, accomplishments, and areas for improvement. Ground actions items and next steps in the present. Have regular conversations with teams that focus on today as well as tomorrow.
The Perfect Boss – that elusive combination of mentor, leader, and fun-to-be-around person. The perfect boss respects employees and challenges them to be their very best.
Fierce tip – Chances are, if the perfect boss worked hard to earn that title, she knows it takes work to keep it. Continue to perfect listening and communication skills, and endeavor to build a culture where employees are motivated and want to be heard.
“When bosses create an inclusive culture where employees are invited to communicate their perspectives and have open conversations, whether it’s with coworkers or the boss, the business wins,” says Halley Bock, CEO and president of Fierce, Inc. “An overly nice, but repressed culture can be as ineffective as a tense militant one, which is why it’s the leader’s responsibility, regardless of personality, to be open, honest and solicit feedback from employees.”
What type of leader are you?