Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work for: A Guide for New Leaders

Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work for: A Guide for New Leaders

by William A. Gentry

This a straightforward guide on how you can internalize good leadership principles as a new boss. This book shows you how to flip your old script as a self-centered worker and embrace a more team-centered mindset. Consisting of 6 practical flips, Be The Boss Everyone Wants To Work For breaks down how you can change your entire work perspective to succeed as a new leader.

Summary Notes

Flip your mindset

“As a new leader, adapt to changes that come your way, to avoid derailing”

When you get promoted to your first leadership position, you need to realize that you cannot think like an individual employee anymore. Every decision you make as a boss has an impact on you, your subordinates, as well as senior managers above you. This means that you have to flip your old script and start thinking differently.

However, this is easier said than done. Some people start well but end up derailing their careers because they couldn’t switch their mindset from employee to boss. Others let the newfound success get to their heads or ignore their leadership weaknesses instead of working on them. They fail to understand that flipping your mindset is the only way to succeed as a new leader.

You need to be adaptable and embrace a growth mindset to be an effective leader. If you believe that you can change, then it’s easier to learn and improve. You are now leading a team, so start thinking of how to collaborate with and support others instead of doing things for yourself.

Actions to take

Enhance your communication and influence

“As a leader, you are never not communicating”

When you were an individual employee, all you needed were sharp technical skills to get ahead in your career. However, as a new leader, technical competence can only take you so far. You need to flip your skill set and develop new skills that are more important for a leadership position. Two of the skills you need are communication and influence.

New leaders often struggle with effective communication—especially the nonverbal kind. Yet nonverbal communication plays a bigger role in how a message is perceived than the words used. When your nonverbal signals don’t align with the situation at hand, it causes confusion and damages your credibility among your team.

You also need to learn how to influence others so that they willingly support your ideas and implement your decisions. Using logic or charm to gain influence may work as an individual employee, but as a new leader, you need a different set of tactics to succeed. You have to think broader and consider the needs of everyone who works under you.

Actions to take

Review your relationships

“Many new leaders have difficulty displaying authority, particularly to those with whom they have a history and friendship”

When you step into a leadership position, your colleagues immediately become your subordinates. This means that the nature of your relationships has to change even though you’re still dealing with the same old individuals. You now have to think about the needs of the organization even as you continue to maintain your friendship with your former peers.

One of the challenges of flipping your relationships is displaying authority. You now have to get your friends to take you seriously as their boss. If you fail to do this, they may take advantage of the relationship, and this may negatively affect work assignments. Do your best to maintain your friendships but don’t allow them to compromise your leadership.

Actions to take

Prioritize the growth of others

“The boss everyone wants to work for coaches and mentors his or her staff, team, and direct reports”

As an individual employee, every aspect of your work is on you, whether it’s sales, analytics, design, or writing reports. Your ability to get things done on your own makes you a valuable asset to the organization. However, as a leader, your success is measured by a different set of metrics. Therefore, you cannot afford to stay stuck in doing everything by or for yourself.

You have to learn to delegate work to your subordinates even if you think they are less competent than you. It may take them longer to finish the work but delegating will help them increase their capacity over time. You cannot do all the work as your team sits idle. Your role as a leader is to challenge your team to grow, drive them to deliver, and offer your expertise when they need it.

Actions to take

Change your political perspective

“Politics is simply the air we breathe in organizations”

Whether you like it or not, one of the key roles of any leader in an organization is to play politics. Politically savvy leaders take a broader approach when it comes to discussing resources, stakeholders, and strategy. They highlight the impact of their team on the organization and know how to build networks that help them achieve their goals.

Most people view politics negatively because it’s often approached with a win-lose mentality. However, you need to flip your political perspective. You don’t have to engage in divisive or selfish political games but you also cannot afford to be naïve. It’s possible to engage in office politics in a way that brings greater transparency, clarity, and satisfaction to all concerned.

Actions to take

Focus on integrity and character

“It takes a lifetime to build your integrity, and one instance, one second, to ruin it”

As human beings, we make poor decisions all the time. Sometimes it’s difficult to do the right thing even when you know the personal consequences of immoral actions. However, as a leader, your decisions have a greater impact than you may think. Getting involved in a scandal can taint your character and integrity, and you may lose the respect of those who look up to you.

When you’re a new boss, your focus should be on doing the right thing because your decisions are not about you anymore. This doesn’t mean you have to be perfect all the time. However, understand that there are people who trust you and are constantly looking to emulate you as their leader.

If you desire to climb the corporate ladder and become an influential leader, character and integrity should be a priority for you. Watch out for the tendency to overestimate your integrity as we all have blind spots. Also, don’t wait until your ethical failures have been exposed to begin building a good character. Take the necessary steps to better understand what it means to be an ethical leader.

Actions to take

Stick with your new script

“If the people you lead and serve are successful, you are successful”

Focusing on others rather than yourself can be a difficult script to stick to. You’ve spent your whole career only thinking about yourself and how to get ahead of everyone else. But now that you’re a leader, you cannot afford to fall back into your old ways. The days of feeling jealous or insecure about someone stealing your job are over. You have to help your team succeed because their success is your success.

When you stick to your new script, you let your team know that their opinions and concerns matter. You listen to people, recognize their performance, and care about their well-being. You make people feel appreciated and instill motivation in everyone who works for you because that’s what a good leader does.

Actions to take

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