If you go to any bookstore you’ll see lots of books on the subject of leadership.
But you won’t find many books on being “The Boss”,
Most of the time when the word “boss” is used, it’s in a negative sense.
There’s been an evolution in the way organizations are managed over the past few decades, from one generation to the next.
The old “tell them what to do, and if they don’t do it, tell them again, only louder” was kind of normal in the 70’s but today, not so much.
Talking with someone in a family business recently, one person, referring to his cousin said,
“He doesn’t want to be a leader, he just wants to be the boss”.
When I first wrote the written version of this blog I looked for a photo to go with it and came across some words of wisdom by accident.
There was a nice picture with these words:
A Boss says : “Go”
A Leader says: “Let’s Go”
When we talk about this boss vs leader issue, what does it really boil down to?
In a family business scenario the Boss vs Leader issue usually comes down to two main points:
- Autocratic decision making, and a
- Brusk communication style
Other things also cause problems, but if you could just “fix” these two you could really improve morale.
In a business family, this issue can be pretty complex. because
“Exits” aren’t usually simple and other family “baggage” makes things tricky
But there are LOTS of leadership roles in a business family, and
The Three Circle Model shows us that there are three systems at play in a family business: Family, Business, and Ownership.
Each system should have its own “leader”, and it really doesn’t have to be the same person, and probably shouldn’t be!
When different people assume different leadership roles, the possibility of developing a sense of “collective responsibility” is heightened, and that’s a good thing.
In fact, getting all of the key people to understand that they’re truly interdependent can go a long way to improving relationships.
Can this be learned? I sure believe so, but the right attitude is key!
That’s all for today, I hope you got something useful, see you next time.