Stop right there and think, "When was the last time you reported to an amazing boss?", the kind of boss you have referred friends to, the kind of boss that saw you as a human with unlimited potential? A month? A year? Five years?
So where did they all go? It's not like Infinity War, they didn't get snapped out of existence.
Before we go searching for them, let's look at what makes a "Good" boss. The top characteristics are:
They put people first: People are the greatest asset on a team, they bring the product to life, they are the heart of a company. A recent client said a great boss "says (s)he has my back and when crunch time hits, actually does". These are the leaders you strive to emulate.
They are real: Real means they are authentic and courageous enough to show up as a human. As Brene Brown says "Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest." These bosses might be messy sometimes and, as a result, you will put yourself on the line for, day after day.
They challenge the status quo: They know you are capable of more. They also know that the business needs to evolve for us all to succeed. They champion change within the team and out in the greater business. They refuse to be the Blockbuster, and instead strive for Netflix status! It is exciting and terrifying working for them, like a roller coaster and you can't wait to keep hopping on for the next ride.
So now you know what they look and sound like, where did they go? They are still out there; hidden under an Inbox that is exploding, worried they will lose respect if the "real person" shows up and working for bosses that are lost, just like them. They are all wrapped up in this crazy vortex of 2019!
How do we unite and break free of the vortex that has buried all these amazing bosses? How do we find a voice and make the change we want to see in the world?
Leaders Be Present: When with our team, stakeholders and even our own boss, be present. Shut off the phone, square your shoulders and make eye contact while listening for the gem in the conversation. Geri-Lynn was a former boss and our 1-1 conversations were the best I ever had. She was captivated with my every word, probed with questions to allow me to solve the challenges and made the conversation all about my needs. I try to recreate that in my coaching conversations with my team.
Companies Recognize The Power Of Your People: Take a step back and evaluate your resources. All those great bosses are still out there, however they are hidden underneath a pile of manual reports, ineffective processes and a feeling they are "on" 24/7. As Sr. leaders driving policy and setting standards, what can you do to give great leaders a chance to be great leaders?
Employees Light The Fire: Take action. A journey starts with one step and Rome was built one brick at a time. What can you personally do to ignite the fire within your circle of influence? Roaring bonfires are started by lighting kindling in the bottom, as flames grow up and bonfires shine. Be that spark and be the change you want to see in the world. If you want and expect more from your boss then hold him/her to it. Meet them where they are and grow together.
Be present, recognize the power of your people and light the fire to create an ecosystem where great bosses can thrive again!