Three Things Every Boss Needs to Know

Recently an executive said to me, "I don't care what my employees want. They need to be worried about what I want!"

Obviously, a boss needs employees who are committed and loyal, but getting that commitment will be like pulling teeth unless bosses demonstrate first that they care about what the employees want.

Effective bosses know:
  1. What employees want (in order to motivate them)
  2. What they do well (in order to notice, praise, and fully utilize their gifts)
  3. What they can do to help them reach their goals (in order to develop them)
Following someone like this is easy. We naturally want to please a boss like this.

If you are ready to be this type of boss, get ready for less drama, less frustration, and less opposition. Now, you can:
  1. Communicate expectations (without fear of boycott)
  2. Reward employees (without the backlash of entitlement)
  3. Coach (continuously without nagging)
  4. Eliminate poor performance (without indigestion)

Avoiding the Drama of Dread and Overwhelm

I've noticed that when I feel overwhelmed with all the things I need to do in a day, usually the root is the dread of one task among the many that is distasteful or uncomfortable. The weight of that one phone call, or that one meeting, or that one chore occupies so much space in my psyche, that the day seems insurmountable.

But, when that task is faced and conquered, it is like the Red Sea parted. The remainder of the day is an unimpeded walk in the park!


1) Be honest about what I?m avoiding.

2) Don?t succumb to the artificial overwhelm threat.

3) Remember that I am greater than or equal to any and every task I have been given.

4) Do it, delegate it, or dump it.

Top Ten Things We Do When Disappointed with Someone

1.Roll our eyes
3.Hope we win the lottery so we have more options
6.Punish passively
7.Avoid them
8.Hope the employee quits
9.Hope the employee comes down with a serious disease that's not infectious
10.Hire a hit man (or dump the problem on HR)

Unfortunately, these tactics only add to the discomfort in the workplace.

Only way around this dysfunction?

1.Let employees know what all your rules are so they can win (performance and attitudes).
2.Set up contingencies for when things go wrong and keep very short tabs.
3.Explain the difference between loyal and disloyal opposition.
4.Hold them accountable with tenacity.

No one is motivated when they don't know how to win. When a manager doesn't make that clear, the employee thinks it's all political.

Two Ways to Be Passionately Focused

While discussing with friends recently about the importance of passionate focus for accomplishing our goals, a debate arose concerning the risk of appearing inconsiderate when we are so focused.  The following distinction helped me resolve the conflict:

Two Ways to Be Passionately Focused: Unaware and Aware

When we are unaware, we:

  1. put our needs ahead of everyone else's
  2. fail to care about or notice the impact our actions have on others
  3. think success is everything

When we are aware, we:

  1. honor other's needs as we honor our own
  2. remember that we are all in this together
  3. recognize that success without peace is not enough

(Works for life's big goals...and for catching airplanes.)