March 6, 2013

The Buck Stops Here

Are you a good boss? Wait, you're not a boss? Oh, and here I thought all my readers were successful Fortune 500 CEOs!

Question two: would you be a good boss? As a peon, I do not have a definitive answer to this, however my inner-worker screams: YES. In my mind's eye, I would take every bad decision, every slight, every unproductive employer-employee conversation to heart and do exactly the opposite

I know, I know. It is much harder to be a good boss than not: otherwise, everyone would be one, right? Like most things, it is impossible to know exactly why managers act the way they do until you walk the maze of cubicals in their shoes. That said, I do think that imagining oneself in a managerial position is a productive exercise. How else will you ever get a feel for being your own boss, assuming that is a professional goal? It is certainly a requisite in my own search for Sanity with a Paycheck

Here is some great advice that I received from my old friend Duncan Niederauer, CEO of the New York Stock Exchange. (Ok, actually I read these leadership tips in a magazine, which you can find online here.) 
- A good boss often focuses more on communication than strategy
- Diversity, diversity, diversity. Surround yourself with people who think differently, act differently and solve problems differently.
- Exude confidence. 
- Be relevant. Avoid tasks, meetings, busy work and people who do not contribute to your productivity and success.
- Use power strategically. Throwing weight around just because it's possible is not a wise investment. Use it instead to further your goals and push your priorities.  
- Spend time thinking about consequences and perspective. Words matter. Actions matter. Spend time recognizing your impact.

Good advice. We'll see if it leads to bringing home $10M a year by the time I'm 50. You can read more about Mr. Niderlander here.

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