Leadership Skills

How To Succeed As A New Boss

Becoming a first-time boss has its challenges. Especially if you’ve never had any leadership training, becoming a new boss can be scary!

But it doesn’t have to be.

Having gazillion years of experience, I’ve seen it all -- Bossholes who think they know everything, and on the other end, brand new leaders who own it and are amazing. Below, I outline 4 tips on how to succeed as a new boss regardless of your boss status.

1. You don’t know everything and no one expects you to.  Don’t even pretend you do.

I was hanging with my 3-year-old niece picking out a cape. It’s what #1 aunt does. I was trying to influence her to go with the Wonder Woman cape, but she picked Supergirl. From the second she put that cape on she transformed. Hands on her hip, head held high, and this jaunty walk that came out of nowhere.  She had more swagger than Jagger. It was so cute!

First-time leaders often don a boss cape. They transform into someone who knows everything because they were promoted to the boss. Acting confident because of a title is just how these new bosses cope with the fear of the new position. They feel like they need to prove themselves right away.  Please understand that no one expects you to know everything so stop pretending you do. It’s not cute, and you aren’t 3.

Which bring me to the next tip.

2. Talk Less. Listen more.

Fear and wanting to prove ourselves again make bosses both new and experienced talk all the time. They think the world is their stage because they are the boss. That always speaking, being the loudest gives them power and shows they are in control. You are in control of boring the heck out of your people.  Stop it.

You aren’t learning anything when you are talking
Good leadership


Remember tip number 1? You don’t know everything? You have a lot to learn and even if you’ve been doing it for decades. Be that boss that listens more than then talk. Your people will think you are awesome.

3. Focus on your span of control care

Baby bosses, also when donning the boss cape, focus on their span of control. How many direct reports (also known as humans beings!) they have which they say with a maniacal laugh of a cartoon overlord. It’s not cute either.

4. How you think is how you lead.  

Stop thinking you can control people. Do you like to be controlled? Chances are no!  So stop trying to do it to others. What you can do is care about them. Seeing them as incredible humans who have dreams, families, fur babies, and some mad ass skills that you can inspire and grow and in turn rock your business together.  Like a boss.

To sum it all up, don’t be a bosshole.  Here’s a letter I wrote to that very same niece on the subject.

Do you think I hit the mark? Leave your comments below!


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