Bosses Gone Wild.
By Dr. Rick Johnson
Tuesday, 1st February 2011
Being considered a 'Leadership Expert', for kicks as part of my constant research, I Googled Bad Bosses, Boy, what a surprise.

There were 278,000 stories, articles or websites listed. Reading some of the stories listed was not only entertaining but it was mind boggling. It made me wonder just how so many "Bosses Gone Wild" could survive in today's environment with today's generation. Certainly I could understand it in the 70's even the 80's but this is the 21st century. Things are different now. Or are they?

The Bad Boss is Alive and Well

Some of the stories I read were incredibly unbelievable and I would like to think the most incredibly unbelievable were exceptions. But, what about those bosses that may not be incredibly unbelievable but they just plain suck at leadership? They have limited coaching and mentoring skills. They have had no formal leadership training. They may have just inherited their position for any number of reasons. These could be considered "Bosses Gone Wild" because they have no idea how to treat employees and get them to willing release their discretionary energy.

I wrote an article several years ago about the BOSS syndrome. I contended that B.O.S.S. actually stood for ----Boisterous, Omnipotent, Self- indulgent Sociopath. Success is defined by the quality of leadership at all levels in the organization. Acting like a BOSS Gone Wild is not a demonstration of leadership.

Employees want to take pride in their leaders. They are eager to give their trust, but demonstrating the kind of leadership character that deserves that trust cannot be over-emphasized. Don't let your employees down. Character is built around a true concern for the people within the organization. It is based on fairness and consistency. It is not based on the autocratic authority of a Boss Gone Wild.

Follow the Leader

The reason people follow any leader, especially in the business world, is due to trust. The only way to develop trust is through communication - talking to people with respect to gain their respect. Respect is a key ingredient in developing trust. Trust is gained when people think their employer cares about their welfare and recognizes the role each plays in creating a profit. People have to think that the company not only cares about their problems, but that the company will make every effort to solve them.

Leadership is often described as the art of getting people to accomplish specific objectives. However, organizations are complex social entities with widely distributed responsibilities and assets. Unilateral action toward specific objectives is seldom sufficient in itself to create the kind of success expected for a company seeking growth and increased market share.

If you lead through fear and intimidation using a "Bosses Gone Wild" methodology, you will have little respect; but if you lead with confidence, integrity, commitment and respect, you will have little to fear and gain the respect necessary to accomplish your vision.

A Common Fallacy: Have All the Answers

A mistake many leaders make is the self-imposed responsibility to have all the answers. This is just not accurate. It is okay to admit to not having all the answers. Good leaders are willing to show their imperfections, Bosses Gone Wild are not. Surround yourself with a solid executive team and you don't need all the answers. No one expects perfection, just leadership. Being a leader doesn't grant you supreme knowledge.

Being a Boss Gone Wild by mandating new rules, stipulations, threats and unreasonable demands does not promote unity or trust. It is destructive to the kind of attitude required to succeed. Employee consideration and input is absolutely essential to success. The company needs employee support, trust and respect. But, the company must give before they receive. The leader must know when to lead and when to listen before acting. It is often surprising how much employees can and will contribute if you give them the opportunity to do so.


Allow the employees to take risks and demonstrate initiative.

Empowerment is a trait used by most effective leaders. The rewards of empowering your employees are far greater than the risk. Give them some independence in choosing their work schedules or other factors that won't affect overall objectives. Empowering employees allows them to use their own initiative and creativity to accomplish things you never imagined they could.

Employees must take ownership in the success of the organization. This means they must become part of the strategy employed by the company. Winning organizations continuously build leaders at every level in their organization. Leaders who actively attempt to mentor and build other leaders gain respect throughout the organization and transfer knowledge, ideas, values and attitude about success.

Leaders get Results --- Bosses Gone Wild Don't

Leaders make things happen. They continually advance a clear agenda, get others to buy in and move the organization to accomplish specific objectives. They are explicit, consistent, concise and sincere. They generally have an abundance of charisma although some leaders gain success with a quieter influence.

Leaders take charge and are not afraid of responsibility or risk. Most people want to follow them. A good leader develops openness, honesty, clarity of purpose and a sincere caring for the people they lead. They gain commitment and trust by demonstrating respect for the individual. They have a keen sense of understanding. They believe in their task, they understand the objectives, they communicate clearly and they honestly project the understanding that they need the efforts of everyone to succeed. They don't throw staplers at their secretaries or take credit for ideas their employees give them or do any of the other bizarre things you can find listed on Google for bad bosses.

Effective Leaders just don't act like a Boss Gone Wild. It's not in their nature. Don't be a B.O.S.S. be a leader.

Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution's "Leadership Strategist", founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail rick@ceostrategist.com. Don't forget to check out the Lead Wolf Series that can help you put more profit into your business.

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