Want to Be a Highly Respected Boss? 20 Things to Do Every Day Guest Post by Bill Murphy Jr.

Multiethnic Group of Hands Holding Motivate
Multiethnic Group of Hands Holding Motivate

 

Think about the best boss you’ve ever had.

Maybe you’re fortunate, and we’re talking about the person you call your boss today. Maybe it’s someone you recall fondly from years ago.

Regardless of who this person is, I’m confident I can describe him or her. That’s because highly respected bosses often have a lot in common with one another. Here are 20 of the key things they do almost every day.

1. They share their vision.

The most important thing a leader can do is provide his or her team with a goal that is worth their time. Granted, the boss doesn’t always get to set the agenda, but a great one will advocate for something worthy, and ensure that he communicates it effectively and often.

2. They develop expertise.

What’s more annoying than working for a boss who doesn’t actually understand the job, and whose authority vests entirely in the job title? The boss doesn’t have to be the number-one expert in every fact of the job–that might be impossible–but he or she had to be competent at all levels.

3. They respect people’s time.

Great bosses have little tolerance for boring meetings, mandatory fun, and making others wait unnecessarily. They also avoid long-windedness when shorter remarks will do.

4. They set priorities.

When you try to focus on everything, you’re not focusing on anything. A smart boss understands that, and realizes that lack of focus can easily metastasize when your lack of priorities means the team isn’t moving in the right direction together.

5. They share information.

Some bosses parcel out information like misers, often because they’re afraid that if their team had all the facts, they might not be able to lead. There are legitimate reasons to control the timing of information sharing, but overall the more transparent a boss can be, the more respect the team will ultimately have for him or her.

6. They make decisions.

Decisiveness. Super important. Enough said.

7. They offer praise.

People wonder how they’re doing. Great bosses let them know, and they’re especially vocal and public about it when they’re doing well.

8. They demonstrate empathy.

Great bosses are able to see things through other people’s eyes, especially their employees’. Of course this doesn’t mean that they are pushovers, but it does mean that they’re concerned about their team on multiple levels.

9. They offer thanks.

Building a culture of gratitude starts at the top. If the boss doesn’t take time to offer thanks to those around him or her, why would we expect that anyone else would?

10. They pull everyone together.

You might have heard the phrase “gung ho.” Reportedly, it derives from a World War II saying that combined two Chinese words meaning “work” and “together.” A great boss recognizes the talents of members of his or her team, and strives to lead in a way that lets everyone maximize their effectiveness together.

11. They ask smart questions.

They double-check assumptions in a non-annoying but thorough way that sends the message that they’re on top of things. They aren’t willing to accept that things should be done a certain way just because that’s how they’ve been done in he past.

12. They have respect for people’s lives.

They also recognize that people are just that–people. Work has to be a priority, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only thing in their lives. They recognize that their employees have spouses, children, friends they need to care for, not to mention outside interests and ambitions.

13. They hire thoughtfully.

There’s a saying: personnel is policy. In fact, this should arguably be the first item on the list. A leader’s most important role is sometimes about assembling a team of great people–and, just as important, avoiding letting toxic people join.

14. They accept blame.

Ethical people accept blame for their failings. Maybe they don’t dwell on it, but they accept it. Great bosses go a step further, accepting the collective blame when the team comes up short, and then guiding everyone to move forward.

15. They have a sense of humor.

Life is hilarious. Great bosses don’t have to be cutups, but they do have to have a sense of humor. They recognize that the crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.

16. They communicate effectively.

No mumbling, no backpedaling. Great bosses find the words to explain what they mean–and they back up what they say.

17. They model ethical behavior.

It’s often true that more progress is made when we seek forgiveness than when we seek permission. However, there are rules, social norms, and basic decency. Great bosses strive to uphold them.

18. They celebrate wins.

Nobody likes a boss who thinks the only reward for great work should be more of the same. Great bosses look for milestones to celebrate–whether that means a 15-second recognition or a full-blown party.

19. They strive for excellence.

Because really, who wants to work for someone who strives simply to be adequate?

20. They make more leaders.

Great leaders don’t just make happy followers–they inspire more leaders with their examples. Just as important: They’re thrilled, not threatened, when members of their teams go on to even bigger and better things in life.

Bill Murphy Jr. Executive editor, TheMid.com, and founder, ProGhostwriters.com

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13 Unprofessional Behaviors Real Leaders Should Eliminate A Guest Post by the Young Entrepreneur Council Originally Printed in Inc.

iStock_000019996666_Small

With the stress of running a business while simultaneously keeping up with your clients and team, you may fall victim to some less-than-professional behaviors in response to the constant demands on your time. But luckily, there is a way to bounce back.

Thirteen entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share the worst faux pas they’ve committed while in a position of leadership, as well as their best advice for rebounding from these sticky situations.

1. Not listening.

In the earliest stages of building a company, it’s often easily to lose sight of what constituents (employees, vendors, clients, partners) are saying while chasing progress. Taking the time to refocus and listen has allowed my company to grow more than simply bulldozing ahead. —Reza Chowdhury, AlleyWatch

2. Micromanaging.

Letting go of some things when it comes to your business can be hard. It took me a while to learn that micromanaging wasn’t the best way to manage my team, nor was it the best way for me to spend my time. Once I made myself take a step back, I could really focus on the things that only I can do to grow the business. I left the other stuff to the experts that I hired. —Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.

3. Becoming short with my team.

While facing a big deadline that was going sideways, I allowed the stress of the moment to overcome my sense of positivity and patience. As leaders, we need to stay sharp and grounded during good times and bad. I realized that my communication became cold and to the point, and I stopped leading with gratitude. A quick apology and affirmation of respect and mutual purpose got us back on track. —Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Video Doorbell

4. Lacking transparency.

As leaders we are expected to make big decisions with facts pretty much only known to us for reasons that only we think we can understand. You have to be more transparent to your company stakeholders and your team to really have their buy-in to your master plan. Don’t let the urge to act quickly cause you to forget to communicate and offer explanations as to why your direction is best. —Robby Hill,HillSouth

5. Talking behind someone’s back.

I should have fired an employee sooner rather than go around her to other employees while waiting for her to change. When the other employees got the sense that I wasn’t being direct with the poorly performing employee, they worried that I wouldn’t be direct with them if they messed up. While they knew that employee was a drain, they felt badly for her because I wasn’t being honest. —Wei-Shin Lai, M.D., AcousticSheep LLC

6. Allowing my ego to get in the way.

Everyone has big “ego” moments, but realizing that you do what you need to do for the success of the company is paramount. Being empathetic and learning to quickly take a step back and see the reactions of people on the team should allow you to adapt and adjust, and push everything into the right direction again. —Julien Pham,RubiconMD

7. Shrugging off difficult clients.

I would allow the team to see me roll my eyes when we had a client being ridiculous or crazy. I quickly realized that that culture was trickling down to everyone. Immediately, I got out in front of it, stood up in front of the team, and admitted I had started the trend, but it had to end immediately. No matter how ridiculous clients may seem, they are still clients trying to make their businesses work. —Erik Huberman, Hawke Media

8. Letting a small issue become a huge issue.

Not many people like conflict. This can mean that issues that start out small and don’t seem “worth” addressing can grow unchecked until they become too uncomfortable to easily fix. Company culture is defined by the worst behavior you are willing to tolerate, and having a toxic culture because you are too polite to call someone out on unacceptable behavior is a recipe for disaster. Now I am more direct with my team. —Douglas Hutchings, Picasolar

9. Not taking criticism.

When you think your idea is perfect, you resent it when friends and colleagues criticize it or suggest changes. Our first months in business were horrible. While several prospects inquired about lower price points, we weren’t interested in making this change. We were so sure of our imminent success that we even overtly dismissed customer input. —Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

10. Texting during meetings.

At some point I became addicted to my smartphone and was checking it every 30 seconds, even during company and client meetings. I wanted to stay on top of everything and couldn’t keep my eyes away. I found I was only half-present in meetings and not giving people my full attention. Needless to say, I now put my phone away during meetings and have learned to curb my addiction. —Marcela DeVivo, National Debt Relief

11. Not scheduling regular meetings.

During the initial startup phase, I made the mistake of thinking that there wasn’t a need for scheduled meetings because the team was relatively small. A significant uptake in email correspondence and Skype calls soon became apparent when team members started checking in with me the moment a question arose. I overcame this by scheduling regular meetings, which allowed our staff to group questions. —Luigi Wewege, Vivier Group

12. Bringing up “touchy” subjects.

I’ve always wanted to feel close to my employees and make it known that they could talk to me about anything that was bothering them. However, I made the mistake of checking up too much and inquiring about their feelings, and it began to be invasive. I learned that I definitely can be friends with my employees, but I have to put up boundaries and make it known that I am still an authority figure. —Miles Jennings,Recruiter.com

13. Not checking in the right way.

Hubstaff is a 100 percent remote company. I used to think our own time-tracking software on its own was enough, but in hindsight I wasn’t getting the visual info I needed about each developer’s work. Our team ended up wasting a lot of time and money from miscommunication. Now I ask all developers for a quick 3-4-minute screenshot video explaining their work and roadblocks at the end of the day. —Jared Brown, Hubstaff

12 Signs of Emotional Maturity A Guest Post by Carthage Buckley

Diagram of emotional intelligence
Diagram of emotional intelligence

 

Emotional maturity refers to your ability to understand, and manage, your emotions. Emotional maturity enables you to create the life you desire. A life filled with happiness and fulfilment. You define success in your own terms, not society’s, and you strive to achieve it. Your emotional maturity is observed through your thoughts and behaviours. When you are faced with a difficult situation, your level of emotional maturity is one of the biggest factors in determining your ability to cope.

12 Signs of emotional maturity

Each person has a different level of emotional maturity. It is something which you can consistently work on and improve over time. You can use the following signs of emotional maturity to gauge your own level:

1. Flexibility

You are able to see each situation as unique and you can adapt your style accordingly.

 2. Responsibility

You take responsibility for your own life. You understand that your current circumstances are a result of the decisions you have taken up to now. When something goes wrong, you do not rush to blame others. You identify what you can do differently the next time and develop a plan to implement these changes.

 3. You understand that vision trumps knowledge

You know that you do not need to have all the answers. As long as you can identify the problem, you can visualise a solution and research the best way to implement that solution.

 4. Personal growth

Meeting the challenges of tomorrow requires learning and development today.  You have a desire to learn and a thirst for knowledge. Learning and development activities form a key part of your schedule.

 5. You seek alternative views

Knowing that the way things are done can always be improved, you willingly seek out the opinions and views of others. You do not feel threatened when people disagree with you. If you feel that their way is better, you are happy to run with it.

 6. Non-judgemental

Variety makes the world a more beautiful place. Even when you disagree with people, you do not feel the need to criticise them. Instead, you respect their right to their beliefs.

 7. Resilience

There will always be things that go wrong. There will always be setbacks and major disappointments. While you may initially be a little upset, emotional maturity allows you to express your feelings, identify the actions you can take, and move on.

 8. A calm demeanour

It’s hard to be calm 100% of the time but you are able to remain calm the majority of the time.

 9. Realistic optimism

You are not deluded. You know that success requires effort and patience. You do, though, have an optimistic disposition whereby you believe you can cope with whatever life throws at you. You also believe that there are opportunities out there for you, so you seek them out.

 10. Approachability

You are usually easy to get along with and people feel comfortable approaching you. Building relationships is never contrived; it comes easy to you.

 11. Self-belief

You appreciate when others praise or compliment you. It feels good when they approve. However, you know that there will always be people who disapprove but you are confident in who you are and what you do. If you believe that a particular course of action is right for you, you will do it, whether they approve or not.

 12. Humour

You don’t take yourself too seriously. You are able to enjoy a good laugh with friends and colleagues, even when you are the butt of the joke.

Quit Playing Games and Choose the Simple Option A Guest Post by Carthage Buckley

High Resonance Healing Words
Healer’s outstretched open hand surrounded by random wise healing words on a rustic stone effect background

 

Unhappiness comes from a set of beliefs that we learn and perpetuate. Therefore; isn’t it logical to you that we can become happier by challenging and changing those beliefs? We can make some basic decisions and implement them on a daily basis. At some point, we can even replace the old thinking with new thinking so that choosing the option for happiness becomes automatic. There will always be new challenges to our thinking, but we can meet those challenges successfully.

Happiness is not magic, and it’s not magical thinking. It doesn’t belong to a lucky few. Moving from a state where you experience a lot of negative emotions like anxiety and depression to happiness requires commitment and courage.

If you want to be happy, you have to entertain the possibility that you can be. Many people come to believe very early in life that life is a game they can’t win. They spend the rest of their lives collecting evidence to prove that they are incompetent, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Here are two facts that might surprise you

  • There are only two emotions: fear and love.
  • All fear is the fear of loss.

We start life free from fear. Our every need is met with loving care and we are at our happiest; a natural happiness. This is our natural state and a state which we can return to at any time; if we choose to do so.

Loss is a natural part of life and inevitably, we experience a series of losses during the ordinary events of growing up. Unfortunately, through our attachments, we take these losses personally and we come to fear loss. This fear of loss soon begins to affect our decision making.

Norman Cousins once said:

” The tragedy of life is not death, rather it is what we allow to die within us while we live.”

Quit playing games and choose to be happy

He’s right, you know. In the areas of your life that aren’t working, how much denial and avoidance of loss are you practicing? How many of these self-protective games have you played?

1. Quit before you start

If you don’t enter the game (that’s any aspect of life you’re avoiding), you can’t lose. Of course you can also never win if you do not enter the game and pursue your dreams.

By adolescence, some of us have become so afraid of loss that we no longer make our decisions based on what we can gain when we succeed in our ventures. Instead, we are more focused on what could be lost if things don’t go our way. It is easy to imagine the pitfalls and so we become paralyzed by fear and end up taking no action whatsoever to advance ourselves.

2. Quit in mid-stream

If you quit before the game is over, you might be a quitter, but you’ve saved yourself from being a “loser.”  Again, it is the fear of loss which drives your decision making. Loss and rejection instill so much fear that you are prepared to give up on your dreams to avoid experiencing them.

3. “That’s OK, I didn’t care anyway.”

You never committed to it anyway, so it doesn’t matter that you lost. You pretend that you didn’t really want something anyway to save face but although you may fool others; you can never really fool yourself.

In the short-term fear of loss and rejection may take a stranglehold on you but the reality is that in the long-term, there is nothing more painful than knowing that you failed to back yourself and pursue your dreams.

4. Dumb game

If you decide that the game’s stupid, it doesn’t matter that you lost. I used to play this game the whole time. I used to convince myself that you could only succeed in life if you had the right background and the right connections. If you didn’t fit the bill; you couldn’t succeed. This was really just a way to pretend that my destiny lay outside of my own hands; thus sparing myself the efforts of trying to create the life that I really wanted.

Thankfully, I have learned to take responsibility for my own life and accept that the results I get in life are entirely of my own making. While I haven’t yet achieved all of my dreams I can certainly say that my quality of life has improved drastically.

5. Endless game

If you keep halfheartedly playing the game without ever coming to a place where you win or lose, then at least you haven’t lost.

This game can manifest itself in many ways but mainly shows as some form of procrastination. Maybe you keep putting off asking somebody out on a date or you claim that you will stand up to that bully when you feel more confident.

Whatever it is that you are putting off, you know you need to do it but you keep finding a reason to delay it. What you are really doing is pretending that you are staying in the game because you haven’t lost. In reality, you are not even in the game. You are sitting on the sidelines playing the role of a spectator in your own life.

Did you find yourself in one of these? Just about everyone does. If you saw yourself, good. Awareness is the first step to turn yourself around. That takes courage, but you can’t change what you can’t see.

The next step

The next step is to make a commitment; you need to commit yourself to changing both your attitude and your behavior. Spend some time looking at the areas of your life that you’re unhappy with – what are these areas and what negative thinking and avoidance behavior are you practicing in these areas? Now, let’s begin to discover how to confront this thinking.

In his excellent book, What Happy People Know, Dr. Dan Baker talks about fear and love:

“We need to be willing to charge headlong into the inferno of our most horrific fears – eyes open, intellect and spirit at the ready.… That takes courage, and that’s when courage is one of the prerequisites for happiness. But where does that ability come from? What power grants the strength to overcome the sick, shaky feeling of fear? Only one power is that strong: love. In the ultimate analysis, human beings have only two essential, primal feelings: fear and love. Fear compels us to survive, and love enables us to thrive.… For you to be happy, love must lead this dance.”

Dr. Baker goes on to talk about appreciation as the highest, purest form of love. It’s higher than romantic love, the love parents have for children, or the love children have for parents. It’s the strongest love there is, and it’s the only thing strong enough to be the antidote to fear.

An attitude of appreciation can help you survive all the difficulties in this world without being destroyed by them. It’s the type of love that allows you to enjoy an experience while being able to let go. This attitude can help you when you lose loved ones, when unfortunate things happen, and even with confronting your own death. You face the fact that these negative things happen and you’ve chosen to experience and enjoy the good things, including your own life, while you have them. Dr. Baker concludes that the constant fear of loss is what creates our unhappiness and that once we face and accept this, we will be able to be happy.

Much of our unhappiness is caused by anticipation of what may go wrong; rather than things that have actually gone wrong. Think about that for a minute; we become unhappy due to things that have not and may never happen i.e. they are figments of our imagination. When you realize that; you realize that much of our unhappiness is completely irrational.

Of course bad things will happen in life but you must not become obsessed by them. When you allow negative anticipation to control your decision making; you lose so much more than you will ever gain e.g. imagine how much better your life could be if the person you fancy agreed to a date or if you broke free from the bully. When you focus on what could be gained; you realize that risk of loss is minuscule in comparison.  Be true to who you are, believe in your inherent worth, and face things as they come.