HR, Thought Leaders

7 Ways to Become the Boss Your Employees Need

August 3, 2020

by Matthew Gillman

CEO, SMB Compass

Being a great boss requires much thought and attention. If you need help at being the kind of boss your employees need, check out these practical ways to become one.

Some people put in a great deal of hard work and determination to rise through the ranks from an entry-level position. Others found themselves in a position of leadership just because they’re heirs to a successful family business. 

How you got to be the boss doesn’t determine how you manage the people who put their faith in you. Whether you’re the CEO’s sole heir or a great performer who earned your way into that posh corner office with a million-dollar view, you’ll need to understand that being a great boss requires much thought and attention. 

7 Ways to Become the Boss Your Employees Need:

  1. Determine your own style of leadership
  2. Don’t stop learning
  3. Become a role model
  4. Catch an employee doing something right
  5. Listen more
  6. Encourage your team to solve problems
  7. Don’t fight every issue

1. Determine Your Own Style of Leadership

The first step is to figure out your own leadership style by identifying your strengths and areas that need to be improved. Once you determine the key characteristics of your dominant leadership patterns, you’ll be able to assess the qualities that are promoting or hampering your leadership. 

There are many different types of leadership styles and all of them are effective. However, the one you embody should be dependent on the needs of the individuals under your leadership, not your personal preference.

The Seven Styles of Leadership 

Which of the 7 styles do you most identify with? Now, which of the seven styles do your employees need you to be? Take the time to reflect and answer these questions.

While leaders are called to trust their gut, you must also keep your own personal biases in check. If they’re left unchecked, your “default settings” will drive the management strategies that you make each day. 

Instead of just falling on habits, you’ll need to try to do what’s best based on the circumstances and not based on what you prefer. This should give you a great starting point to look for possible solutions that will improve your way of leading.

2. Don’t Stop Learning

The biggest task that leaders have to make is to grow themselves. This means working toward developing some new leadership qualities and making the necessary adjustments to achieve them. 

The eyes of every employee will be on you as you learn to identify your weaknesses and work on them. Nothing is more inspiring than a leader who constantly strives to become better. 

3. Become a Role Model

Leaders who dictate rather than lead by example tend to have employees who don’t have high regard for their authority. With this kind of boss at the helm, the people are bound to perform at the minimum level. 

On the flip side, leaders who walk the walk and talk the talk gain their people’s respect and inspire them to follow greatness. With a boss who’s able to connect the team with his or her own leadership objectives, the employees will be motivated to meet high standards for performance and achievement.

4. Catch an Employee Doing Something Right

One easy way to make an employee feel important and recognized is to catch them performing their job well. Celebrate them for their accomplishments in the workplace.

tips for motivating employees


Other bosses wrongfully think they could increase their team’s efficiency if they spend most of their time correcting every little mistake that their employees make. 

The truth is, constant criticism won’t create an environment that’s suitable for any person to thrive. If you want to push the right buttons, you’ll need to pay close attention to those who are doing something right and be sure to praise them for it. This will encourage your employees to do better at work.

5. Listen More

It’s not wrong for bosses to share their experience and expert advice with their teams. However, if they do all the talking all the time, they unknowingly shut down their subordinates’ thinking process. 

Before they know it, each of their team members will have no confidence in themselves and will tend to solely depend on their boss’s ability to get things done. 

Great bosses make it a point to listen to their employees’ ideas and concerns. They also give them enough room to explore certain problems in order to build and enhance their problem-solving skills.

6. Encourage Your Team to Solve Problems

Although those who are in charge are held accountable for anything that could go wrong, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the very same ones who could find the solution. 

What most leaders tend to forget is the fact that their team wants to help, too. A great boss is able to encourage involvement and creativity by presenting these challenges to their subordinates and providing them with the support they need to achieve realistic goals. 

When your employees take active roles and their ideas are welcomed, they’ll demonstrate greater commitment and significantly improved productivity. 

However, you have to learn to strike a balance by not transferring the work randomly down the line. Doing so will only present more opportunities for more chaos and frustration. 

It’s best to assess each member of your team and distribute the workload according to their skills and abilities. You can start by setting a reasonable number of realistic goals that are manageable enough to drive your team to complete them. 

Every time they obtain victory when each goal is achieved and their confidence increases, you can choose to raise the bar higher.  

7. Don’t Fight Every Issue

Unless you want your subordinates to feel battle-weary, you should learn how to pick your battles. Aside from the fact that fighting every issue isn’t humanely possible, it will also distract you from putting your efforts into more important issues that have the most impact. 

Installing stopgaps and empowering your team to fight their own battles will help them make the most out of their own decisions. Doing so will create an environment that will allow each of your employees to explore their abilities, develop new skills, and gain more proficiency after their wins and losses.

Start to Become a Better Boss Today

It only takes a second to decide to become a better boss. However, the process of becoming one doesn’t magically happen in a snap. It involves a constant implementation of practical steps and the willingness to change your default leadership settings when the need arises. 

SMB Compass encourages you to step up and show your team what strong and transformational leadership is all about because being the kind of boss that your employees need is within your reach.

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