The worst bosses I ever had…were women. I know I am not alone, many share the same experiences. These experiences have driven me to be a better leader and to cultivate opportunities for my employees that I never had. As a business owner (regardless of my gender), I need to live by example.
When reflecting back on my worst bosses, I realized they did teach me valuable leadership lessons.
- Be transparent. By being clear with expectations for each role in your company, your employees know what is expected of them. Share with them the vision and 1 year, 3 year and 10 year goals. Understanding they are a part of something bigger, drives them to contribute in a more strategic way.
- Support professional growth. When an employee grows professionally, the company benefits. Provide opportunities for community engagement, leadership training and more. We work with our employees to develop a professional development plan that we support as a firm.
- Be intentional with culture. You want employees to look forward to coming to work each day. We purposefully build team bonding into our schedule – whether it is Friday Sangria or a BBQ at my house to share an updated company strategy to working on a patio for the afternoon. Employees work hard, reward them with some flexibility and fun.
- Lead by example. This is by far the most important. We have all had those bosses that tells us one thing and do another. While I am out of the office a lot, I make it a priority to attend our team meetings, bonding sessions and hit deadlines.
Use your past ‘bad boss’ situations to drive yourself to be a better leader. Sometimes our worst experiences can be our best education.