I recently met someone who I labelled as mr forward. This person constantly forwarded all messages to their inbox to other people. When I discussed work related subjects they told me they will ask their team to get back to them. Jokingly I asked “what then is your role ?” Pat came the reply “I am the boss”.

I can confidently predict this person will struggle to both succeed in their role and to win the trust and confidence of their team. Why is that ?

It is because in modern organisations seeking results with ever leaner resources there is no job called Boss. Everyone in the organisation must contribute directly to the growth, profits and success of the business. Especially the senior most leaders must demonstrate that they add significant value to the organisation.How can they do that?

  1. Coach – Take on the role of an active coach for your team. This means observing them at work, giving them feedback to improve their performance, acting as a supporter when they are down and showing them a compelling vision of the future. In this role you as a leader spend active conscious coaching time with a team member. You do so with a well prepared set of questions like “ How are you doing ? Rate yourself on 1-10 ? What does it take for you to perform at 10 ? How can I and the organisation help you ? “ 
  2. Strategise – The leader develops the vision and strategy for the organisation. This means studying the external world, mapping potential opportunities and threats, organizing workshops of the right people to make strategic decisions and highlighting to everyone the importance of the big bets of the organisation.
  3. Communicate – The leader communicates the organisation’s purpose, it’s values, it’s priorities constantly and consistently everywhere he goes. Covid or not the leader takes the responsibility to ensure that every member of the organisation knows and lives the organization’s priorities and values at all times.
  4. Reward & Recognise – The leader creates culture by rewarding and recognizing the right results  and behaviours. The leader puts the winners on stage and showcases to others what they did right. The leader role models the behaviours expected in the organizations.
  5. Execution – The leader gets into the mud where needed. The leader keenly seeks out pockets of growth and pockets of trouble and deep dives into both. The leader allocates more resources where needed and kills initiatives that do not matter any longer. The leader trusts the team but constantly verifies if things are moving in the right direction. Many leaders continue to spend a part of their time leading a P&L responsibility directly so as to keep their saw sharp.

Beware of the person who proclaims “I am the boss”. 


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