How to be a good boss

Everyone has a boss. Good bosses, bad bosses, busy bosses, bossy bosses. Even the boss has a boss. And everyone wants to have a good boss. If you’re not already a boss, someday you will be, so read carefully.

What does it mean to be the boss?

Firing people, having minions to give orders to, signing stuff, firing people, having “important upper management” meetings. Sure that’s the official job description. But there’s also: being a friend, being a team leader, and finding ways to make it seem like you have complete control of the situation. For example:

Suppose a memo with a task comes from “up above”, and you have no idea what to do or what is even being asked. So, let’s “Call a meeting” and get input from everybody, which is really to get some clues and figure out what needs to be done. Just make sure that you don’t give away that you’re completely lost and that you’re looking to your staff for direction. And then just assign the task to whoever seems to understand what to do.

Always remember to take credit when they do a good job and blame them if they do a bad job. This is basic boss 101.

Being a busy boss

When you’re the boss, you will become really busy and start sleeping less. Less sleep means you will need more coffee. Good bosses also have people skills and are sociable, so make sure you have 2-3 friends who can go for regular coffee breaks with you. Having back ups is good in case someone can’t make it for coffee. But the opposite can also happen when all your coffee friends show up one by one every 10 mins and you just end up drinking coffee all day. Now you’ve had so much coffee and so much energy but nothing to do because you’re the boss. Remember, if the boss starts working hard, then no one will want to be the boss, hence no motivation in the workplace.

Stress Management

Being a boss is stressful. So many meetings, deadlines, dollars… audits…it’s easy to freak out when something goes wrong. Please try to not download that stress onto your minions by freaking out…in public. You’re just going freak them out as well. Instead, just stay calm and pretend like everything’s alright.

Managing Vacations

The least favorite thing bosses like to hear is “can I go on a leave?”. It is quite a difficult situation, and you get to hear all sorts of creative reasons. There was once this boss who was very strict about vacation, and would only allow it if there was some extreme legit reason for it. One day an employee asked, “can I please take two weeks off? My wife and I are having a baby”. Boss allowed it, and when the employee returned, boss said “congratulations! How is the baby?”. The employee replied “oh the baby won’t come for another 9 months”…..The lesson is: be a little easy about vacation, your staff will outsmart you.

How to deal with firing people

Last but not least, lets talk about Firing people. I LOVE FIRING PEOPLE. YOU’RE FIRED! YOU’RE FIRED! Y’ALL ARE FIRED!!

Although you have that grand privilege, this is not a solution. This is just “getting rid of the problem”. If your minion is giving you trouble, you need to assess and figure out what’s wrong. After trying everything, If you really can’t fix the problem, make it someone else’s problem. Send them to another team under a different boss without letting the other boss know what’s up. In fact, let someone else fire them, but do try to get a glimpse of the firing, it’s a perk to see someone’s life fall apart.