5 Things Remarkable Bosses Never Do

By Jeff Haden   Article

Say, “I’ve been meaning to apologize for a while…”

You should never need to apologize for not having apologized sooner. When you mess up, ‘fess up. Right away. You certainly want employees to immediately tell you when they make a mistake, so model the same behavior. If love means never having to say you’re sorry, leadership means always having to say you’re sorry.

Deliver annual performance reviews.

Annual or semi-annual performance appraisals are largely a waste of time. … The best feedback isn’t scheduled. The best feedback happens on the spot when it makes the most impact, either as praise and encouragement or as training and suggestions for improvement. Waiting for a scheduled review is the lazy way out. Your job is to coach and mentor and develop–every day.

Hold formal meetings to solicit ideas.

… the better way to ask for ideas is to talk to people individually and to be more specific. Say, … “What would you change if you were me?” Trust me: Employees picture themselves doing your job–and doing your job better than you–all the time. They have ideas. Sometimes they have great ideas. Be open, act on good ideas, explain why less than good ideas aren’t feasible….

Create development plans.

… You should know what each of your employees hopes to achieve: Skills and experience they want to gain, career paths they hope to take, etc. So talk about it–informally. Then assign projects that fit. Provide training that fits. Create opportunities that fit.Then give feedback on the spot. “Develop” is a verb. To develop requires action. “Development” is a noun that sits in a file cabinet.

Call in favors.

I know lots of bosses who play the guilt game, like saying, “Mark, I was really flexible with your schedule while your son was sick… now I really need you to come through for me and work this weekend.” Generosity should always be a one-way street. … Be accommodating when being accommodating is the right thing to do. … Remarkable leaders only give. They never take.”

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