Episode from the podcastThe Boss Hat with Barbara Nixon

Episode 9 - The Boss Hat

Released Monday, 18th January 2016
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Hi everyone – thanks for listening today. Hope you’re having a fantastic day. We’re now into episode 9 of our launch thanks so much for listening.

In today’s episode I want to talk about something that I speak to people about a lot. Not only do I get asked a question around it, but I also ask people to think about it – and the question that I ask is…”what type of boss do you want to be?”

Now the reason that I ask this question is that it’s a choice that can be made. You can choose what type of boss you want to be. You don’t have to be a clone of your boss, or your bosses boss, or even the people that you’ve worked for in the past – although you will find that you pick up traits from them, but we’ll come back to that later. But the kind of boss that suits you, your personality, and your team.

Because here’s the thing – you don’t have to be a newbie to think about the type of boss that you want to be. Anyone can do it. At any stage in their career. Even if you find yourself thinking I’ve been doing this for ages – you can still tweak, change and develop. You might also find yourself asking the question ‘well, what type of boss am I now?” If you’re thinking that you’ve got a couple of options….The first being ask for some feedback from your team and the second completing a profiling questionnaire to see what it says. However, for this episode we’re not going to be covering that – instead I want you to be thinking about not what kind of boss you are now, but ideally what type of boss you want to be.

Let me explain why this is an interesting exercise to do. Well, often when we start to lead others we find ourselves inadvertently cloning someone else, whether that’s someone we worked with or for in the past, or someone we know of or read about. We might also follow suit with what the culture is in the organisation we’re working for. Now, although this is no bad thing really, after all you’ve got to start somewhere, if we’re not careful we can end up working against our own values, or not being authentic to our own personalities. Do this for a while and you’ll not only start to feel it – as you might feel like it doesn’t quite fit you because it’s not aligned with your true self – but your team will start to sense it as you’ll become a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde type character behaving completely differently in work and out – and your team will start to wonder who the real you is and how you can be different. It might even start to affect the trust that you’ve built up in your team.

It’s also important that you think about the type of boss you want to be as you and your team will change and have changed over the time you’ve been working together – so it’s ok to do a sense check every once in a while to tweak to suit the needs of your team and make sure you’re staying on track.

So, back to the question – what type of boss do you want to be?

Let me take you through a very quick exercise that’ll help you think about it.

Just for a moment imagine that someone who works for you (and you can imagine a person here, it doesn’t have to be a real member of your team) goes home and over dinner with their family they’re asked what you’re like to work for. Ideally what would you want them to say.

Now, here’s the trick – it’s ideally what would you want them to say – not what do you think they’d say right now. Ideally what would you want them to say….now make some bullet points.

In case you’re wondering I’ve created a one pager that’ll take you through this exercise. To download it go to barbaranixon.co.uk/download009

Ok – so back to the exercise. You should have a few bullet points on there now. This is what you’re aiming at. Now you may think that you’re doing them already – in which case that’s fantastic. But it might be something that you want to get some feedback from your team on – or you may want to move on and focus your attention on one of the bullet points that you know deep down you haven’t got in the bag.

Either way, you now know where you’re heading in terms of what kind of manager you want to be – so put your list somewhere where’ll you see it – and if you find yourself in a situation that you’re struggling with, or you’re having a challenging day you can pull it out and see how you’re doing in relation to the skills, values and traits that you’ve identified.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about the type of manager you want to be so pop on over to barbaranixon.co.uk and leave a comment and don’t forget to grab your download at barbaranixon.co.uk/download009

Thanks for listening and I’ll speak to you soon