Having this long experience in the industry has lead me to take each day as it is – never thinking too much about the usual things. And who can blame me? Running a company is no joke, with so much other things to think about. Until one day, my friend asked me over coffee: “Hey Allan, it was great having me over your office; your people are so nice. How do you manage them?”
I was surprised by his question. I was never asked that way before. It lead me to a reflection and I told myself (in my mind): “Yeah, I really think I am doing a great job at handling people”. So to answer that question, let me write this article. No, I am not trying to brag or claim that I’m the best boss or anything – because I’m not. I have my off days to and so does my employees. But for budding CEOs out there, let me share to you a few nuggets of wisdom that I’ve learned along the way.
Let me tell you my secrets to managing happy people.
First: The best leaders are passionate. I can’t tell you enough how many bosses out there lack the passion. They don’t finish their work shifts. They stay inside their offices, with their people not even knowing what they’re doing. Yes, we all tend to get busy, but the best leaders out there lead. Support. With a raging passion that seeks to inspire employees. If employees see their boss working hard yet having a lot of fun, they’ll get inspired and be passionate about what they’re doing as well.
Second: A great boss cultivates creativity. Yep, we’ve all been through boring offices where even a pin drop can be heard because it’s so silent – and boring. But there at Alliance Telenet, I let my employees have a little fun to foster their creativity. We try to integrate them into everything. For instance, I let my employees listen to the music that they want, especially my web design team. My creative writers can scan the internet for the treasure of information and inspiration that it contains. I’ve proven through my years of managing people that happy and creatively cultured employees are more productive than silent, neck-tied people in front of their computers all day. The best companies do it: Disney, Google – why shouldn’t our great company do it too.
Third : An amazing boss cares. This is the simple logic behind it: if you care about your employees, your employees would care about you too. And if they care about you, they’ll value their work and do their best. Simple, right? Yes, it should be. A lot of bosses struggle with this, but it shouldn’t be too hard. Caring starts with the small things. An employee got sick? Ask them how they are the moment they come back to work. You caught an employee late? Don’t reprimand him right away. Ask him why. Your employees are going on over time to finish a very important project for you? Don’t go home earlier. Stay with them. Show your support – and maybe treat them to dinner. These things, no matter how little, go a long way into letting your people feel that you’re human too and you care about them. You won’t throw them under the bus. They should trust you. They are in good hands, so in return, they’ll show you, you should trust them too. And that’s what makes a strong company.
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