A significant part of being an entrepreneur is being a leader and a boss, whether it be being your own boss, or someone else's. While there's no perfect "formula" for being the perfect boss in your start-up, there are definitely some qualities and habits that I have noticed my bosses adopt during my time here at Imagine Media that have proven to be successful and admirable. As a primary leader in a new organization or business, it is crucial to exemplify proper leadership which can take many different forms, but-- here is our "cheat sheet" for being the best boss you can be:
A Great Boss...
Connects the Company Vision to Daily Tasks
Every company has a mission statement and/or core values, but actually taking the steps to implement those guidelines into the day-to-day of your team really sets the standard for not only the culture of the company but also the expectations as a whole. Something I've appreciated in the leaders here at Imagine Media is that our core values are never just words on a wall. Before our Monday meeting, our mission statement is typically said, and someone is chosen as sort of the "person of the week"; someone who truly embraced one of our core values that week and stood out because of it. It serves as an inspiration for the rest of the team to be incorporating our core values into each and every task. By leading your team in following your company's vision, the atmosphere will be more positive, and everyone will be on the same page when it comes to what sort of qualities they should embody as a teammate.
Fosters a Positive Company Culture
Although the actual "work" can be argued to be the most important part of any job, another very crucial element in the workplace is the culture that surrounds your company. When someone walks into your office will they feel comfortable and welcome, or will they feel stuffy and nervous? These are important questions to consider not just for your visitors, but for your teammates. Studies have shown that a more positive company culture and more comfortable office space leads to increased productivity and happiness within the office. Here at Imagine, our managers make a point to emphasize culture, whether it be through hosting fun events for the team or celebrating a team member big for their birthday or baby shower. This fosters a more positive environment to work in, and a more connected team both during and after work hours.
Provides Consistent Feedback and Mentorship
It's important to stay on top of your own work and overall well-being, but it's also critical to be constantly checking in your teammates as well as being open to giving and receiving feedback. Something we do at Imagine Media to ensure everyone is on the same page is participating in monthly touch bases. In these meetings, we discuss goals, challenges, successes, and talk about how someone on the leadership team can help you if you need it. It's a great way to take structured time out of the day to listen to each team member and help solve any problems they may be facing. Each Friday, we also fill out a digital "touch base" called a 15five, which asks you to rate your week and elaborate on how you felt about it. It then gets sent to your boss or manager, and they can see wholistically how the office was feeling over the past week. This fosters two-way communication within the office and further promotes a more positive work atmosphere.
Leads Themselves Well
Successful leadership stems from the inside out, meaning that a great boss is intentional about leading themselves well just as they would other people. This doesn't mean that as a leader you need to have your life together-- many of the most successful leaders in the world are personally a mess. However, what sets apart good leaders from great leaders are the little things: being a leader in the community, showing initiative outside of work, building and maintaining external relationships, practicing self-improvement. These are the actions that transform you from being a just a boss into a role model and admired leader.
Story By: Krista Smith