Why does someone want to be… and why in the world would someone think they can be… the boss?
I had a conversation recently with a young woman who had been promoted be the head of the company she started working at when she was still in high school. I have watched her journey and I given advice only occasionally when asked for it. She put in the hours necessary to get to where she is… working 100+ hour weeks was not unusual.
So it was with great interest that I watched her process the context within which she now operates. She is the boss.
And watching her discover exactly what that means.
You get blamed for everything and, if you are good boss, you give all the credit for successes to your team.
You better get a brain trust of other “bosses”… CEO’s and Presidents of companies… together fast or the isolation of being the one that everyone else goes to will become mind numbing. Everyone else in the company has one, or many, “what do you think about this…” people to go to. As the boss, you are the ultimate resource. Only someone else in your position can relate to what it is like to be the boss.
You will have more critics than you ever imagined possible. In this day of the internet and blogs and chat rooms where people use fake names, you will be criticized relentlessly and you will never know if it is a smart person or a former employee or a competitor. Read the words of Theodore Roosevelt often…
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
You will experience true victory.
When you get it right, when you learn from your mistakes, when you utilize the concept of original thought and the spontaneous intellectual combustion of a talented team creates a truly new product or methodology that helps your company and your customers and the world in general and you know that you were the driving force behind it and the one who said “Let’s keep going” when everyone else wanted to quit and you were right…
It is victory and it is success, pure and simple, and you are living life fully.
Congratulations to my friend and her well deserved promotion and to all of those who are living life fully as active participants and leaders, not as bystanders and commentators.