Being the Best “Boss”

“People as the difference between a leader and a boss.  The leader leads, and the boss drives.”

~Theodore Roosevelt

I was watching an episode of one of my favorite TV shows several weeks ago in which several of the most remarkable Undercover Bosses were portrayed during the show.  I was jotting down notes left and right because every comment and story was a gem.  Are these folks for real?

I am pretty sure these are all very real people and I am also pretty sure that for every awesome Undercover Boss that is portrayed on the show,  there are thousands of other extraordinary “bosses” who never get into the limelight or in front of the cameras.  Quick note:  many of us in leadership really do not like to be called the boss – probably because it conjures up images of highly dictatorial management styles versus being in partnership with the folks we work with.

Here are some of the comments that I had jotted down from that particular show:

“It is all about being with your team”

“It is not learning about the business so much as learning about self”

“… had to be a better listener to both customers and employees”

look more inward to who I really am… capable of opening own my own doors and carrying my own suitcases from the jet to the taxi…”

“to sit, touch and feel some of the greatest people made me a better person and I hope it made me a better leader”

“allowing me to become who I really am… to stop hiding behind suit and tie image… stopped hiding behind the office…”

“all that really matters is making a positive difference in the lives of the people I touch…”

One profound story stuck with me:  The CEO of Diamond Resorts donated a million dollars of his own money and had the company match it to start a crisis fund for their own employees.  One of the recipients was an employee who is now a cancer survivor after the company assisted him in being able to afford a clinical trial treatment for Stage Four cancer… the CEO talked about how he (CEO) moved from being aggressive and arrogant  to getting in touch with what is most important to his guests and his employees.

It takes grit and aggressiveness to run a large corporation and to be a competitive force in any marketplace but to me one of the greatest character traits of any leader is the ability to look within themselves and to learn… to be humble… to be generous… to care.

How might you become a more amazing “Boss” in your own organization?

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