If you think that this blog is all about the movie, “Horrible Bosses” which opens nationwide July 8, you are sadly mistaken. That movie has been highly publicized and has already received some mixed reviews, even though the cast is not lacking for star power (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Donald Sutherland, Jennifer Aniston). Summer movies very rarely fall into the blockbuster category. It is summer after all. No one really cares what is showing at a movie theater as long as the place is cool, the popcorn is hot and buttery and the seats are comfortable. But then again I am no Siskel or Ebert.
No this blog is all about real bosses and what it takes to be a great one. In the book, How To Become A Great Boss, Jeffrey Fox, the author, presents a simple success formula for becoming a great boss. And as usual, Fox presents his success formula in a list of ten items.
1. Only hire top-notch, excellent people.
2. Put the right people in the right job, and weed out the wrong people.
3. Tell the people what needs to be done.
4. Tell the people why it is needed.
5. Leave the job up to the people you’ve chosen to do it.
6. Train the people.
7. Listen to the people.
8. Remove frustration and barriers that fetter the people.
9. Inspect progress.
10. Say “Thank You” publicly and privately.
Being a Great Boss has everything to do with the people you hire, communicate with, promote, listen to, acknowledge and respect. It has nothing to do with a boss’s education, time with the company, experience, industry knowledge, relationship with higher-ups, career plans, stakeholders or markets.
The first four items on the list are the steps that hiring managers and business leaders should try to take every time they attempt to fill a position.
- Telling people what needs to be done and why it is needed is the job requisition, the performance profile, the scorecard for hiring “A – Players”.
- Putting the right people in the right job and weeding out the wrong people is another way of saying that each position in a company needs to be filled with people whose skills, talents, experience, education and training are aligned with the business strategy and goals of the company.
- And once you know what you are looking for and what the job requires then hiring top notch, excellent people falls to the recruiting function to source, screen and help select the appropriate candidates.
Once the top notch, excellent people are on board, then great bosses work to keep them. To do so they need to get out of the way and let them do their respective jobs; provide opportunities for training where and when it is needed, either for their current position or for advancement and succession planning; monitor progress of work and the individual employee; remove all obstacles that inhibit or slow down or devalue the employee and lastly, give credit where credit is due, publicly and privately.
This is a simple formula that Fox presents and when you read the list you see that it is about hiring great talent and keeping great talent and that is what makes a boss great.
I am not sure if the makers of the movie “Horrible Bosses” plan on making a sequel but I do have a suggestion. The movie should be called “Great Bosses” and the star studded cast could be made up of numerous bosses that any of us have worked with and for throughout our careers. It would be a blockbuster.
Nominations are welcome. Now, pass the popcorn!