Update 11th Feb 2020

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Loads of us dream about becoming the boss, but what does it really mean and entail? Whether you want to strike out on your own and make a business all of your own, or you want to keep pushing until you finally achieve that prized promotion at work, there are a few things you need to know…

Being in Charge is Tough

There’s no getting away from it, some days it will feel like you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. You’ll still be accountable to all of the same customers as before, but now there are a whole load of people turning to your for direction. This is where striking the right balance is crucial.

If you adopt a dictatorial style of management then your staff will quickly take a dislike to you and adopt a work to rule mentality. Being spoon-fed only serves to erode ambition and creativity in the workplace, and before you know it you’ll have to be so prescriptive with your instructions that you’ll wonder whether your team has any initiative at all!

Leaders Lead

What people really want from their boss is a leader. They don’t want a politician always looking to shift the blame, and they don’t want David Brent — trying so hard to be popular because he confuses popularity with respect.

If you want to set the tone from the moment you get in the hot seat then you need to lead by example. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that this means bringing in a whole new raft of changes purely to make your mark. Instead you should be leading by example so that everyone can buy into your philosophy, and your way of doing things.

Don’t Reinvent the Wheel

When you take over there’ll be things that you think work great, things that are in dire need of attention, and plenty of things that are fine just as they are. The chances are that you won’t have been asked onboard to make sweeping changes, so don’t go looking for them if they’re not part of your brief.

In time you’re bound to uncover more areas where you can streamline and rebalance things, but please don’t go changing things for the sake of it. Not only will this waste time, money, and effort; it will also run the risk of alienating your staff before you’ve even had time to get your feet under the table.

An Open Door is Your Biggest Advantage

When you want o get the best out of your team they need to know that you have their back. If you come across as aloof, unapproachable, or too much of a disciplinarian then you simply won’t get the most out of your biggest resource.

Make it clear that whilst you’re not in the business of being everyone’s bets friend, you are always ready and waiting to find out how you can make their working day easier. Be proactive, seek out quieter members of the team, and generally just show an interest in everyone’s career goals and objectives. 

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