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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Advisors: Are you a good boss?

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When I ask myself that question, I come to the conclusion that I could be better. So what makes a good boss, and how can we get better? An article in the latest issue of Harvard Business Review offers research and some key tips for improving as a boss.

A good boss is typically influential. But where does the influence come from? Fear? Likability? Actually, true sustainable influence seems to be rooted in trust. Your employees may be listening to every word you say and how you say it. They are looking to confirm or deny their trust and belief in you.

In order to keep “training” your leadership skills, here are a few tips:

  1. Prepare for opportunities to learn and develop as a manager. For instance, delegate more and test the responses and results. Detail what you learned.
  2. Communicate openly and often. The goal isn’t to become best friends with your staff. On the other hand, focusing on business and not on the person will probably not produce the desired result. Quantify the individual and personal interactions you have.
  3. Review your actions at the end of every day. Are you influential? Rate yourself.

Some days are better than others as a boss, but if we keep the focus on getting better, not being perfect, we are headed in the right direction.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. Kuzmeski has personally consulted with some of the world’s most successful CEOs, entrepreneurs and professionals. For more information, go to