Are You a Good Boss?

Originally posted on Healthcare Informatics

It’s a fair question but one I’m not sure we ask ourselves enough. One of the telling questions you should ask (or pay an outside consultant to ask) your people this simple question: “What is it like to work for me? “ Some of us will never ask the question. It’s not our style, we don’t want to know, we don’t care or we just never stop to ask. I think it’s a huge mistake!

I just finished reading Good Boss, Bad Boss which is a book every healthcare CIO and every executive leading an organization should read. It will stop you in your tracks as author Robert I. Sutton peels the onion on the different management and leadership styles of executives and how they either create high performing teams or do a great job increase the turn-over rates in their own organizations by being an awful leader. Sutton points out that each of us in a leadership role determine our success or failure based on the way we deal with employee relationships and in the way we lead.

I met with a CEO recently that will remain unnamed. We started talking about the organizations greatest asset – their employees. Well, that’s what I thought. The subject moved to on-boarding and the type of culture they were building. Their answer floored me. I mean absolutely floored me! Are you ready for this? “I have people that handle the employees and my main job is to deal with the board”. What? How does that work. It certainly sends a (very) loud shot across the bow to the troops that in the CEO’s eyes – the rank and file don’t matter (that much). OUCH! It makes a guy like me cringe on one hand – but also forces me to think about the types of organizations I want to help build world-class teams. This is a model (and organization) that decided to pass on. How do I explain that to a potential new hire? I like to tell candidates about The Good – The Bad and The ugly. Good grief! What an EGO!

So, let me ask you again, are you a good boss or a bad boss? I think you need to know and I think you need to know today, tomorrow and every day that you call yourself a leader. I’m not trying to get in your face as much as I’m trying to make a very compelling point to those that want to build world class – high performance teams that can (and want to) achieve and exceed your expectations every time.

Do some soul-searching and start to think about when you plan to ask your team what they think about working for you. Start by taking a look in the mirror. I hope you are pleasantly surprised. I really do!