Like A Boss

Like A Boss

Last week as I was stuck in traffic on the 405 I got a phone call from an old friend. She’s the V.P. of Human Resources for a Multi-National Company based in New York. She also happens to be a single mom. In the middle of the conversation, out of the blue, it occurred to me to ask “what are the most important things for a single mother to remember when they’re at their workplace or when they’re first going back to work”?   

She’s an expert so pay attention- she broke it down in 3 easy pieces.

At home, any conflict can be resolved with the old …I’m the mom and I said so and that settles it” card. But your co-workers are not your kids.

Like most people, you probably work for someone else. If you work at a small business or for a multi-national corporation, you’ll be dealing with at least 2 of 3 these groups of people:                 

A) Someone you report to (your boss).  
B) Someone reports to you (you’re someone’s boss) 
C) Someone you work with (co-workers)

Make your boss look like rock star: The fact is, your boss has a boss. Deliver your work on time, because he needs to deliver his work on time to his boss. Remember your boss is evaluated on the quality and the timeliness of the work that you perform. That’s why they call it “managing”- your supervisor is responsible for the productivity of his team. Be the best at what you do and people will notice that you care about your work. Good things can only come from you being the best “you” that you can be. 

The Speed of the Leader is the Speed of the Pack:  This is the toughest position of all 3. You have a manager and you manage a team or other people. You’re not one of the gang. You’re being paid to lead, so lead. Be a leader. Lead, be the first one in each morning, be the last one to leave at night. Care. Show that you care about the people you supervise by being better at your job than anybody else is at their job. Master your job and know more about the jobs of those you supervise than they do. You don’t have to be better at their job than they are, you need to know more about their job and how it fits into the overall process of the company growing its earning. 

One tip: You’re on a computer or just ended a phone call and someone from your team approaches your desk and asks a question that needs an answer ASAP. Stop everything and before you respond, take a moment to disconnect from whatever it is you were doing; close your eyes as you look up from your desk, exhale, open your eyes after you look up at them and then begin to answer their question. It calms any urgency and it gives you control because you begin the conversation when you’re ready to respond. 

Stick with the Winners: It’s called work. It isn’t called the place where you go do nothing and get paid. It’s the “workplace”, not a “comedy showcase”. Stay clear of the people who focus on “getting over”. Get to know the people who are recognized for their performance and learn how to get better from them. Learn the little things they do that help them do their better job than anyone else. Watch them and learn to work smarter, not harder- listen, watch and learn from them. In today’s Hyper-Ultra- competitive economy “takers” are quickly exposed and those who “contribute” are rewarded. 

She had one last gem: We work with Human Beings. This means mistakes will be made. Everyone is allowed to make the “same” mistake once- don’t panic but don’t repeat it. The sooner you tell your boss the sooner you can learn how not to repeat it. The longer you wait to tell someone about the mistake the worse the mistake gets.

Have faith knowing you’re doing your best- it’s OK to make mistakes and to learn from the experience. Remember, that I’m not, and you’re not, the first woman who ever had to pick the pieces and start over.

This is doable. Go earn!

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