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Are You a Great Boss?

No matter what your leadership title is, be it Principal, Head of school, HOD, AP, DP, HOC, HOSES or GDB (read more below), the people who you line manage will probably refer to you as their boss.

The word “boss” comes from the Dutch word “baas”, originally a term of respect used to address a person in charge. This term “boss” is used purposely to describe someone in charge, who leads and manages people. Whilst authors of “How to Become a Great Boss”, Gino Wickman and Rene Boer suggest that you should take pride in the responsibility of leading others, they also advise against becoming arrogant or taking the title of “boss” for granted. No one respects people that use the phrase, “I’m the boss” in an overbearing or entitled manner.

The key role of the boss is to create an environment where your people will thrive.
Ken Blanchard describes this as Servant Leadership. Whilst I personally don’t love the term ‘servant’ (as it makes me think that bosses have to bow to the whims of all staff), the intent of servant leadership resonates with me. Bosses get paid for what their people do. A leader’s key focus should be on creating the ideal environment where staff in schools can do their best work.

If you are not satisfied with the performance of the people reporting to you, you have to accept the responsibility of doing something about it. It can be helpful to reflect on “Have I done everything possible to make them successful?”

Your choices are to lead, follow or get out of the way. You must decide. Imagine how the people you lead would describe you to their friends and family. What would they say? We all have a reputation in the eyes of the people we lead. Whilst you might choose NOT to be ‘liked’ by everyone it is important to be respected for your professional behaviour and the way you treat people.

If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

My favourite mantra is “Live the Reputation You Want to Have!”

What three words would you LIKE staff to say about you?

P.S. GDB stands for General Dogs Body and covers a multitude of roles!