Becoming a Great Boss

By Jennifer Brownell, Managing Director, Q4B

After reading last week’s Q4Blog, On Leadership written by our new Director of Recruiting and Operations, Carmen Lapham, I began to think about all that has happened to our company and to me over the past few months.

As a company we opened a new location in Denver, filled some key positions, began offering additional services, including direct hire and staff augmentation, and expanded into a new market, Healthcare IT.

And I became the Boss, the Leader.

In her blog, Carmen talks about leadership as being a choice and that the traits that make a great leader can be learned.

I can certainly attest to this. I made the choice to become the boss, the leader and as each day passes, new opportunities present themselves and I know that I made the right choice.

I also know that I need to continually learn what being the boss is all about and how to become a great one.

Shortly after stepping into my new role as boss, a colleague of mine who is an avid reader of business related books, sent me a piece entitled ‘The Great Boss Simple Success Formula” from a book by Jeffrey Fox, How To Become A Great Boss. I refer to this list of 10 steps almost daily. It not only helps remind me of what my role is as boss and what I need to work on, learn, in order to become good, even great at my job, but it also reminds me of how important the consultative recruiting approach that Q4B offers is to helping our clients, the hiring managers, the decision makers, become great bosses as well.

Here is the list.

  • Only hire top-notch, excellent people, people whose strengths compliment your weakness. Hire “A” players.
  • Put the right people in the right job, weed out the wrong people.
  • Tell the people what needs to be done.
  • Tell the people why it is needed.
  • Leave the job up to the people you have chosen to do it.
  • Train the people.
  • Listen to the people.
  • Remove the barriers and frustrations that hinder the people.
  • Inspect the progress.
  • Say “Thank You” publicly and privately

This list has already been put to good use with our most recent hire, Carmen Lapham as Director of Recruiting and Operations. She is an “A” player whose strengths compliment my weakness. She is in the right job, she has been told what needs to be done and why it is needed and I plan to leave the job to her, knowing that it will be done. If training is needed, it will be provided. I listen to her daily, hopefully removing any barriers that would inhibit her success. I inspect progress through meetings, updates and activity reports and I say “Thank You” often.

I will continue to use this list as we grow the company.

This list has also served us well when we have the opportunity to provide a more consultative approach as part of our managed recruiting services.

Here is our approach.

  • As part of our needs analysis we come to understand the type of candidate the client is looking to hire; strengths that are needed for the position and that would compliment the weaknesses of the hiring manager, the team, the department. We would then only present what the client considers “A” players.
  • The “A” players presented would be the right people for the job. We could assist in weeding out the wrong people for the job with transitioning assistance and guidance.
  • We tell our candidates what the job is all about, what needs to be done and present a clear picture of required performance measurements, thus insuring that there are no surprises at the end of an evaluation period.
  • We tell our candidates why the job needs to be done, its importance to the company, the department and the hiring manager.
  • We tell our candidates about the culture, management style, training opportunities that currently exist. If some of these are lacking then we make suggestions for improvement.
  • We then say “Thank You” to both our client and our candidates.

Using this approach, we can certainly help many of our clients become Great Bosses, if they are not great already.

In closing, I have used the term great boss and leader interchangeably. I don’t think you can say one without implying the other.

I just hope that one day I can say the same about myself. 



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