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Archive for manager

Moving from Buddy to Boss

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.”
~ John C. Maxwell

Friendships with your employees – when, if ever, is it appropriate? This is one of the most difficult questions for managers to answer. From an academic HR standpoint, the answer is often cut and dry – It’s never appropriate. However, in the real world, it’s often not that simple.

Relationships between between simply can’t be governed by corporate policy. Managers are not unfeeling robots. It’s only natural, after spending time, day in and day out, with people that there are going to be some people you like. In fact, to move from manager to a true leader, you need to be supportive and caring with your employees. However, does this mean it’s OK to be both buddy and boss?

In a word – no.

Although you do want to develop a trusting relationship based on mutual respect, between yourself and your employees, there still needs to be well-defined boundaries. You may be “friendly.” but you are, in the end, their boss, first and foremost. Here are four reasons why you have to move away from “buddy” if you’re the boss.

  1. Even if your actions and treatment of a person are completely unbiased, if they are your friend, others will perceive anything favorable as favoritism.

  2. Even when you’re trying to be unbiased in the treatment of your employees, you may subconsciously treat those who are your friends more favorably. It’s a natural tendency to treat people we have a personal relationship better than those we don’t.

  3. It is difficult to fully fulfill the duties of manager, when the employee in question is a friend. This includes – honest reviews, disciplinary actions, even firing the friend.

  4. You open up your company to potential lawsuits. Each time your friend receives favorable treatment (raise, promotion, etc.), even if it’s well-deserved, you risk a discrimination lawsuit from the other employees. Even if your company wins the suit, the process is often costly.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.

Leadership is much more an art, a belief, a condition of the heart, than a set of things to do. The visible signs of artful leadership are expressed, ultimately, in its practice.
~ Max Depree

“Leadership presence” – it’s one of those recent buzzphrases you hear tossed around lately. It sounds fairly straightforward, but what does it mean exactly? It’s one of those nebulous concepts people use and sometimes you wonder if they know really what is involved. In addition to learning what leadership presence is, more importantly, we talk about how to get this elusive quality.

Leadership Presence: What is It?

Although on the surface leadership presence is exactly what the name implies – the unique presence effective leaders have – it goes so much further than just that. Although it can be referred to as that certain je ne sais quoi a charismatic leader has, there are specific qualities that all leaders with true leadership presence personify. These qualities include:

  • Self confidence,

  • Genuineness and the ability to be candid,

  • The ability to convey a vision and garner support for this vision,

  • Active listener,

  • Effective speaking skills,

  • Openness to new ideas,

  • Motivational and inspirational,

  • Empowers others to succeed,

  • Risk taker, and

  • Actively works at branding themselves as an organizational leader.

Leadership Presence: How Do You Get It?

When you have all of the qualities listed above and, perhaps most importantly, actively use these to brand yourself as an organizational leader, you are on your way to developing leadership presence. Some of these qualities are items you can train to master. Others will require you to discover and uncover your innate abilities.

Becoming an active listener is a skill you can learn, as an example. There are lots of resources (including articles on this site!) to help you hone your listening skills. If you’re not an effective speaker, there are resources, seminars and organizations who can help you in this area too. Visit the “topics” section of my website, www.bouncebackhigher.com/topics, where I offer presentation skills training, as well as one-on-one speech coaching. In contrast to these learned skills, some will need you to simply consciously make an effort to express these qualities.

Being open to new ideas, for instance, may be difficult for you, if you’re used to being in charge and making most of the decisions for your organization. Risk taking may also be a challenge, if you’re naturally more conservative. However, in these instances, sometimes you may have to “fake it until you make it.” When others start to buy into your leadership presence, you’ll find qualities like “self confidence” that you have been pretending to have eventually come naturally.

About Colleen Kettenhofen, Leadership Expert

CREDENTIALS: Colleen Kettenhofen is an international workplace and employee management expert, award-winning corporate trainer, and conference keynote speaker. A media veteran, she has appeared on numerous radio shows around the country and has written more than 40 popular articles on diverse workplace issues. Colleen has delivered more than 1,100 entertaining programs in 48 states and five countries. She is the author of 10 published audio programs and two books including SECRETS YOUR BOSS ISN’T TELLING YOU.

Colleen Kettenhofen is available for keynotes, breakout sessions, and seminars by calling (623)340-7690.