“Dick, they hate you.”
“Who hates me?”
“The people who work for you hate you.”
That was a tough day. Someone decided to tell me the truth about how I was doing in my first position as a boss. It was the day I learned that boss is a four letter word. It was the day that I learned that controlling is not leading. It was the day I learned that leadership is a job, not a position. It was the day I began to transition from “me” to “we.” It was one of the hardest days of my life, but one of the most important.
Have you had a day like that? Do you know if you are a boss or a leader?
If “authority” is a word you use a lot—you’re a boss.
If you believe people work for you, not the organization—you’re a boss.
If you control and approve every action and decision—you’re a boss.
If you believe you have all the answers—you’re a boss.
If you love policies and rules rather than principles and values—you’re a boss.
If those same policies and rules don’t apply to you—you’re a boss.
If the best and brightest don’t stay long—you’re a boss.
If everything comes to a standstill when you’re gone—you’re a boss.
If you use budgets as a hammer—you’re a boss.
Don’t trust yourself to answer these questions objectively. Ask someone. If you are as fortunate as I was, they will tell you the truth about yourself. It may hurt, but you need to know because, “Boss is a four letter word.”
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner