Four Things People Need From Their Boss

itok to be the bossThe great myth of empowerment is that you need to leave your people alone.

The reality is that people will do their best work when they have guidance, direction and coaching from someone who is more experienced and more committed.

Sink or swim is not empowerment.

Here are four things everyone needs from their boss:

1. Clear Expectations – What’s always required and what’s never allowed, what are my goals and timelines?  What do you want me to do.  What is my role on the team?

2. Ongoing Feedback – This needs to be a steady stream. It needs to include what is going well and what needs improvement.  It needs to be frank, honest and comfortable.

3. Ongoing Discussion about Resource Needs – There are so many needs that leaders have.  Your people, in order to do their job well, need to be growing in systems, in technology and in interdependence with other team members.  We need to be planning ahead together.

4. Someone to Keep Score – Your people need recognition, rewards, and credit for what they are doing. This can be done in lots of ways, but they need to know that someone is watching.

Pastors often have trouble in this area of managing. They didn’t start out in ministry with a goal to manage staff. They started with a goal to serve God through the church.  At some point, a pastor / leader must transition some of their time to developing their team around them.  Their “church” becomes their staff and key leaders.

Leaders need to be meeting with their people at least every other week.  It may seem old fashioned, but to progress on goals, to stay motivated, and to have a high structured, deep conversation you have to make a plan. Think of all the people you need to lead.  Create a simple chart (called a people list or manager’s landscape) for each person and answer these questions:


1. Who is this person at work?

2. Why do I need to manage this person right now?

3. What do we need to be talking about?

4. How should I talk to this person?

5. Where and when will we have this conversation?


Pick up a copy of this book at Amazon! It’s OK to Be the Boss: The Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming the Manager Your Employees Need



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