According to Geoffrey James, writing for Inc.com, the best and most respected managers tend to share certain core beliefs.
Drawing from the content of his new book, Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know, James describes the following eight philosophies of successful bosses:
1) Business is an ecosystem. James observes that average bosses see business as conflict, whether among companies, departments or groups. Great bosses, however, view business as a symbiosis, creating teams that can adapt quickly and easily to new markets and form partnerships with other companies, customers or even competitors.
2) A company is a community. Rather than seeing their firms as machines and employees as cogs to be controlled with rigid structures, successful managers inspire their people to achieve their hopes and dreams. They believe in everyone working together for a higher purpose.
3) Management is service. Average managers tend to frown on individuality. Great managers, on the other hand, don’t need to dictate rules. They are able to set the general direction and supply the necessary resources for their employees to get the job done. The decision-making is pushed downward and the manager only intervenes in emergencies.
4) Employees are peers. Great bosses, James insists, consider all their employees as important. Their people respond to this and do the best job they can for the manager, the company and themselves. In contrast, average bosses are slow to trust their employees and see them as inferior. As a result, their team members use their energies to cover themselves in case things go wrong.
5) Motivation comes from vision. James explains: “Average bosses see fear – of getting fired, of ridicule, of loss of privilege – as a crucial means of motivating people. As a result, employees and managers alike become paralysed and unable to make risky decisions, even when those decisions are crucial to the survival of the firm.
“Great bosses inspire people to see a better future and how they'll be a part of it. Employees work harder when they believe in the organisation’s goals, truly enjoy what they’re doing, and (of course) know they’ll share in the rewards.”
6) Change equals growth. The most successful managers realise change is inevitable. While they don’t believe in change for change’s sake, they know success depends on embracing new ideas and new ways of doing business.
7) Technology offers empowerment. Great managers don’t use technology to strengthen their control and increase predictability. They see technology as a way to help people become more creative and build stronger relationships.
8) Work should be fun. Work isn’t a necessary evil and employees shouldn’t resent it. Great bosses believe in making it enjoyable, not least because happy employees do better work.