8th November 2019

In your world, what is a top boss?

On being a Top Boss

What does that mean, ‘being a top boss’? Well whatever it means to you, it is a very important concept. The literature of the day is strewn with research that shows that the quality of the leadership is fundamental to the success of any business. Jim Collins talks about Level 5 Leaders in ‘Good to Great’. John C Maxwell refers to leadership ability as dictating the heights we will rise to in ‘The Law of the Lid’ and in their book ‘Mastering Leadership’ Anderson and Adams correlate leadership quotient directly to business performance.

A Leader 

When I was a boy I always wanted to be a manager, a leader within a business and sure enough that is what happened. I was merrily sailing along when one day I was suddenly confounded by doubt and lack of confidence and I kept on asking myself ‘as a manager, what am I really supposed to be doing?’ and I realised that I didn’t have a clue. I was doing what I had seen others do, and I was getting results. I was consciously not doing the things that I had seen others do that didn’t seem to be effective but I realised I had no real concept of what I should be doing.

Define Main Purpose 

Now I often ask people, whatever their role, to define the main purpose of that role. It should be no surprise therefore to find that most people haven’t really taken any time to think through their role and understand what it means. Of course if you can’t clearly define the role it is almost impossible to know how to set about doing it well.

So  that is the challenge that I set you now. In your world what is a top boss? What defines a top boss? What makes her top, as opposed to say, a medium boss. In a boss what does excellence look like?

I often ask clients ‘who is the best leader you have ever worked for or with’? Of all the answers I get one is all too frequent and it goes something like this: ‘I have never worked with a great leader. They have all been useless. That is why I went into business for myself’. Now, I understand the point but it must be very difficult to understand what to do if we have no concept of what good looks like.

Over the next few weeks in this blog and in my next seminar I will be examining what it means to be a top boss in a top business. If you would like to come along to Wynyard Hall Hotel on the 27th November I would be delighted to see you there.