I often have to remind the smart, dedicated CEOs I work with that leading takes time and energy. Directing the attitudes and behaviors of a team is a big task. I also hear the secrets of these CEOs’ employees—both the things that truly aggravate them and what they love about their bosses. To keep top executives on track, I’ve created this list of what employees want their leaders to do.
TELL ME MY ROLE, TELL ME WHAT TO DO AND GIVE ME THE RULES. Micromanaging? No, it’s called clear direction. Give your employees parameters so they can work within broad outlines.
DISCIPLINE MY COWORKER WHO IS OUT OF LINE. Time and time again, I hear, “I wish my boss would tell Nancy that this is just unacceptable.” Hold people accountable in a way that is fair but makes everyone cognizant of what isn’t acceptable.
GET ME EXCITED. About the company, about the product, about the job, about the project. Just get your team excited.
DON’T FORGET TO PRAISE ME. Motivate employees by leveraging their strengths, not harping on their weaknesses.
DON’T SCARE ME. Your employees don’t need to know about everything that worries you. They respect that you trust them, but you’re the boss. And don’t lose your temper at meetings because they didn’t meet your expectations. Fairness and consistency are important mainstays.
IMPRESS ME. Some leaders impress through their great management skills, others are bold and courageous, and still others are creative and smart. Strong leaders bring strength to an organization by offering talents that the company sorely needs.
GIVE ME SOME AUTONOMY. Give your employees something interesting to work on. Trust them with opportunity.
SET ME UP TO WIN. Nobody wants to fail. Indecisive leaders who keep people in the wrong roles, set unrealistic goals, keep unproductive team members or suddenly change direction just frustrate their staff and make them feel defeated.
Your job is to make it possible for people to succeed. When you do this, everybody wins.
Melissa Raffoni has worked directly with more than 100 CEOs for over a decade as president of Raffoni CEO Consulting.