One of the reasons so many bosses are bad is they don’t know how to be confident and understand their employees’ needs at the same time, says Robert Sutton, management professor at Stanford’s School of Engineering.
In many ways, great bosses need to be a bit egotistical, says Sutton, author of the books “The No Arsehole Rule” and “Good Boss, Bad Boss. ” You need to realise that it’s all about you because people are constantly watching and questioning your every move.
But you also need to understand how your employees are responding to you, says Sutton in a lecture at Stanford. You need to really understand what it feels like to work for you and if you would be productive working under a boss like yourself.
“[The] best bosses have that ability to sort of turn up the volume, to be pushy, to get in people’s faces when they need it, maybe to give them some negative feedback, and to back off when it’s the right time to do that as well,” he says.
“We want people leading us who are confident, who are competent, who act like they’re in charge, who make firm decisions, but we don’t want to work for arrogant, pigheaded bastards who can’t take input,” says Sutton. “And so what you end up with is sort of this challenge — what great bosses do is find a way to walk the line between these two things.”
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