Sometimes I dream of what it would be like, to be liked by all. Unfortunately, every time I do, I wake up! As an owner of my own business, some might say I hold all the cards. I can assure you from an owner’s perspective we more often than not feel the deck is stacked against us.
Today, one of my top managers, and a longtime teammate, stormed out of a meeting I called. He wasn’t happy with me, I wasn’t happy with a situation. This scenario and others like it play out multiple times a week, year after grueling year. It feels like everyday I wake up, put on my boxing gloves and go to work looking for the fight. The reason I have to fight every day is the reality of doing business when you’re an owner, manager or dedicated teammate. That's because all business is, is fixing problems. If there were no problems everybody would be doing what we do and that in itself would be a problem!
The reason this manager pounded his hand on the table and walked out smack dab in the middle of the meeting I called was because he was pissed. He’s paid to fix problems as a manager. As an owner I get paid to find problems or when none exist to create them. Does that make sense? An owner and manager are very much on the same team just with very different roles and responsibilities.
As an owner I work hard not to be directly responsible for doing anything here (trust me, it’s better when I don’t). Thats because my plate is more than full being directly responsible for everything here. The buck stops quite literally with me for everything.
In this particular instance this manager did not like how I handled the meeting. I called the meeting the night before giving him no time to prepare. I like to wing things and think out loud, he likes to prepare himself and process information before he acts. His style isn’t better than mine, and my style certainly isn’t better than his. Although I would never storm out of a meeting I called (I’d throw everyone else out first LOL) I do understand his reaction.
He cares and he wants to fix the problem and he felt kissing my butt (and being likeable) wasn’t going to help the situation; hence the blow-up and now my blog inspiration.
Most people would like to be considered likable; I most certainly would! Most owners and effective managers are not. That's because saying the hard thing often precludes saying the nice thing in an owner or managers world. So how do we do what we do you ask? Is putting on the boxing gloves and going to work day after day, year after grueling year worth it? My answer, and I'd suspect my manager would agree as well is absolutely! That's because there is something we love more than being liked. We love getting better! Better yet, we love seeing other people around us get better. It's not the job of a boss, or a parent for that matter to be liked by their teammates or kids. If your goal is first and foremost to be liked by your teammates or kids imagine how good of a job you will do leading them when you have too? Unfortunately, you don’t have to imagine that but rather just look around to see the results of that kind of “parenting" in society, and the morale that kind of leading leads to at most businesses.
I am not an easy boss to work for and for that matter neither is this aforementioned manager. And in the end that's exactly what I like about him! Deep down I even think he likes that about me too. He just might need a day or two to process it. Hah!