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How to Be a Better Boss

Updated on July 29, 2016

The boss

The pic to the right is me in "Baron von Bossmode." I am "the boss" in many ways at both businesses I help run (a martial arts gym called Revolution BJJ and a tournament circuit called US Grappling). As one of the owners, I'm often put in a role where I need to interact with my employees on a regular basis, communicating the good and the bad to them, and conveying information from them back to my other business partners. There is one concept that has helped more than any other in my "service leadership" role. I'm here to share it with you so that you can (hopefully) make your life a little easier!

Service leadership

The main concept I've picked up from all the leadership materials I've read lately (especially Ken Blanchard and Michael Roberto) is the concept of "service leadership." This essentially means that, as the leader (or the "boss"), it is your job to do what is needed for your employees. You are in their service, and it is your job to do what they need so that they can best get their jobs done. After all, you're just there to delegate and facilitate (a rhyme I just made up; I'm a terrible poet and I know it). As such, the one awesome tip I picked up from Eric Barker's weekly newsletter (which is awesome) is the idea to "catch people doing things right" once a week.

Every week, I take a look around my workplace (typically my gym) and I find something outstanding that one of our employees has done. This is usually not very difficult, since our staff is simply awesome. In order to make sure I actually do this- and here's a really fantastic "hack" - I set a weekly reminder on my Google Calendar. I get an email every week at the same day and time to remind me to "catch people doing things right."

Another ridiculous picture of me
Another ridiculous picture of me

End result: better relations, better life

And the result? Not only does my staff know I appreciate them (and I certainly do, but I might neglect to remind someone for a long time about this in the name of "getting things done"), but I also get to thank someone. Studies have shown over and over again that a great way to make yourself happier is to show gratitude - let someone know they've done a great job!

But don't rely on simple memory to do this. Be sure you set up some kind of alert, whether Google Calendar (like me), or a weekly alarm on your phone, or on a paper calendar you keep on your desk. Either way, you'll be sure to remember to catch people doing things right, and your life will be better as a result!


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