8 Core Beliefs of Extraordinary Bosses
best managers have a fundamentally different understanding of
workplace, company, and team dynamics. See what they get right.
A few years back, I interviewed some of the
most successful CEOs in the world in order to discover their management
secrets. I learned that the "best of the best" tend to share the
following eight core beliefs.
1. Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.
see business as a conflict between companies, departments and groups.
They build huge armies of "troops" to order about, demonize competitors
as "enemies," and treat customers as "territory" to be conquered.
see business as a symbiosis where the most diverse firm is most likely
to survive and thrive. They naturally create teams that adapt easily to new markets and can quickly form partnerships with other companies, customers ... and even competitors.
2. A company is a community, not a machine.
consider their company to be a machine with employees as cogs. They
create rigid structures with rigid rules and then try to maintain
control by "pulling levers" and "steering the ship."
see their company as a collection of individual hopes and dreams, all
connected to a higher purpose. They inspire employees to dedicate
themselves to the success of their peers and therefore to the
community–and company–at large.
3. Management is service, not control.
want employees to do exactly what they're told. They're hyper-aware of
anything that smacks of insubordination and create environments where
individual initiative is squelched by the "wait and see what the boss
set a general direction and then commit themselves to obtaining the
resources that their employees need to get the job done. They push
decision making downward, allowing teams form their own rules and
intervening only in emergencies.
4. My employees are my peers, not my children.
see employees as inferior, immature beings who simply can't be trusted
if not overseen by a patriarchal management. Employees take their cues
from this attitude, expend energy on looking busy and covering their
treat every employee as if he or she were the most important person in
the firm. Excellence is expected everywhere, from the loading dock to
the boardroom. As a result, employees at all levels take charge of their
5. Motivation comes from vision, not from fear.
see fear--of getting fired, of ridicule, of loss of privilege--as a
crucial way to motivate people. As a result, employees and managers
alike become paralyzed and unable to make risky decisions.
inspire people to see a better future and how they'll be a part of it.
As a result, employees work harder because they believe in the
organization's goals, truly enjoy what they're doing and (of course)
know they'll share in the rewards.
6. Change equals growth, not pain.
see change as both complicated and threatening, something to be endured
only when a firm is in desperate shape. They subconsciously torpedo
change ... until it's too late.
see change as an inevitable part of life. While they don't value change
for its own sake, they know that success is only possible if employees
and organization embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business.
7. Technology offers empowerment, not automation.
adhere to the old IT-centric view that technology is primarily a way to
strengthen management control and increase predictability. They install
centralized computer systems that dehumanize and antagonize employees.
see technology as a way to free human beings to be creative and to
build better relationships. They adapt their back-office systems to the
tools, like smartphones and tablets, that people actually want to use.
8. Work should be fun, not mere toil.
buy into the notion that work is, at best, a necessary evil. They fully
expect employees to resent having to work, and therefore tend to
subconsciously define themselves as oppressors and their employees as
victims. Everyone then behaves accordingly.
see work as something that should be inherently enjoyable–and believe
therefore that the most important job of manager is, as far as possible,
to put people in jobs that can and will make them truly happy.