Why is it that most employees think their bosses are at least a little out of touch? Probably because they are. Even those who worked their way to the top lose some credibility and effectiveness because they don't recognize what I call Ten Truths for the Boss:
- The more certain you are that "it can't happen here," the more likely it is that it will. Be careful about overconfidence and complacency.
- There are lots of things you don't know, and lots of people who hope you don't find out. Hardly anybody tells you the whole truth anymore. Information is filtered through the fears and career aspirations of subordinates, and many employees believe you will "kill the messenger" if they deliver bad news so they tell you what they think you want to hear.
- To those who want to please you, your whisper is a yell and your comments are commands. Be careful, people may do foolish things to please you.
- What you allow, you encourage.
- There's never just one bad employee; there's the employee and the manager who keeps him.
- At least someone who works for you is "gaming" the system so they appear to reach their business objectives with smoke and mirrors rather than real achievement.
- According to the law of big numbers, if you have lots of employees, you probably have a few crooks and psychopaths working for you.
- Few people think as highly of your ethics as you do.
- No matter how many good things you do, you will be judged by your last worst act.
- No matter what your job description says, what matters most is how you manage relationships and people.
The Josephson Institute of Ethics website is here.
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