Keeping Your Team Inspired: 5 Lessons I Have Learned
April 9, 2014
Yesterday, a new business owner wrote me a note asking me to share my thoughts on what “unexpected ways make a good boss even better”. I found this to be an interesting question and appreciated the fact that this young woman was interested in being the best, not only in her industry, but to those who work on her team.
Anyone who has ever worked for someone knows that not all bosses are created equal, and when you are the boss, you quickly learn that running a team with a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work well for too long. I am not saying I am a great boss, but I will say that I do my best. I have made my share of mistakes as both an artist and a business owner (and a person) and I am fortunate that these trial-and-errors have taught me a few valuable lessons. I would like to share them here.
Treat Staff Members as Partners In a Shared Purpose
As business owners, it is our job to lead, but I have found that it is equally important to value each person’s position and contribution. I always look to hire people I can learn something from and just as I advise my brides to do, I share my expectations and goals and then trust them to do their jobs. With that said, I have often hired staff members for one thing and discovered their passion for and talents in another area. I try to check in and make adjustments to accommodate these passions and talents when I can.
Keep Your Door Open
We work in a fast-moving industry that requires our full attention, but it’s important that those working for you (with you) feel as though you are someone they can trust and be fully transparent with (massively important being that it’s your company). I have always tried to let my employees know they can come to me to talk about anything they need to, be it a personal or professional problem. I may not always have the answers but I do my best to let them know they never need to tiptoe around me.
We all make mistakes, but how we learn from and come back from those mistakes is what fuels or inhibits our success. I know that if I had someone pointing out one of my mistakes over and over again, I would not feel too great, so I try not to do it to those around me. Instead, I state what happened, ask for clarification, ask how it could have been avoided, share my thoughts, and make a plan to ensure it won’t happen again. Then, I drop it and look forward. If something happens over and over again, that’s a different story, but there’s a difference between giving constructive criticism and having someone feel like they have a character flaw.
Some of you may have seen my video of my staff doing the wave before a meeting. While not every day is like that moment, I do my best to keep the office light. We work hard for our clients and in an industry that takes a lot of our energy and attention in exchange for great rewards. We’re working long hours together and there has to be room to laugh together.
Finally, Give Thanks
It’s one of the easiest things to do to show gratitude for the hard work, late nights, and extra efforts your employees and colleagues put in and yet it amazes me how often I hear people complain that their efforts go unnoticed and unacknowledged. We’re all human and everyone appreciates being appreciated.
What are some unexpected ways to be a good boss? Have you ever worked for a bad boss? What did you learn from him or her?
(Photo courtesy of Antonio Arcos)