Be the boss you wish you had

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a crappy boss. Put your hand in the air for that shitty manager who disrupted your work, took unilateral decisions, said one thing and did another, withheld important information, nit-picked, threw you under the bus, lied, put you down to raise themselves up, stole the credit, crushed your confidence, made you scared, made you cry.

Now take a look at the massive problem facing the world. Look at all those hands.

What the hell is going on? Why are we doing this to each other? Why is 87% of the world’s working population disengaged? Why is someone loving their work an exception and not the rule?

And do you know the scariest part about all of this? Most people, when given the chance, turn into the kind of boss they’ve complained about for years. Why? I wish I knew. Surely becoming a manager doesn’t mean we have to become a heartless tyrant? What’s that about? Are we trying to exact revenge for our years of suffering under horrible bosses by inflicting the same pain on those we now think we lead?

It’s farcical and its time we broke the cycle. We can decide to work together any way we choose.  We can wake up tomorrow and, regardless of our role, decide to become the leader we’ve always wished we had.

We can’t keep waiting for the people above us to change. Culture doesn’t have to come from the top down, in fact almost all of the world’s most significant advancements were brought about by a movement that started at the bottom and worked its way up.

It’s time to stop complaining and start contributing. Leadership is not the private reserve of a chosen few. Leadership is ordinary people bringing out the best in themselves and others. Leadership is everyone’s responsibility. It’s time we took on that responsibility and stopped relinquishing it to the very bosses we complain about.

Human behaviour self excites, meaning that whatever behaviour you exhibit, others around you will copy. Turn up to work tomorrow as the boss you wish you had and let’s see what happens…..

Ben Lancken