The Dirty Little Secrets of Becoming The Boss

Eight Challenges that Every New Boss Will Face



Oct 11, 2005, 01:00 ET from Development Dimensions International

    PITTSBURGH, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- This year, newly appointed bosses may
 not be as enthusiastic about National Boss Day on October 16 as they
 anticipated prior to their promotion. These newly-minted managers shoulder the
 responsibility of the performance -- and even the success -- of their teams.
 And in a once-coveted role, they are closer to being reviled than revered.
     "BOSS has become a 'four-letter word' in the workplace," says Jim
 Concelman, manager, leadership development at Development Dimensions
 International (DDI). "Many new leaders are inheriting the bad feelings created
 by their predecessors and other less-than-competent bosses in the
 organization. These pioneers have a chance to repair these attitudes and
 change the preconceived idea that all bosses are bad -- but it needs to be
 done quickly while the person is new to his or her leadership role."
     In a series of survey questions conducted by Badbossology
 (www.badbossology.com), a bad-boss protection resource site, and DDI, a global
 human resources consulting firm, workers have spoken out on what they think
 about their bosses and what they could be doing better.
 What should every manager know as they embark upon his or her new job? Here
 are eight little secrets that every new leader needs to know:
 
    You're not really their friend anymore
 In fact, most workers said their greatest hesitation about becoming the boss
 would be supervising their friends and the resulting change in the water
 cooler culture. "This is uncomfortable because suddenly, the boss can't ignore
 a teammate's weaknesses or poor performance, and harder still, many bosses are
 responsible for employees' pay," Concelman says. The new manager has to hold
 his or her former peers accountable -- and treat the whole team equally,
 friend or not.
 
     It's not your jokes they're laughing at
     Your team actually compares you to prime-time boss caricatures such as
 "You're Fired" real estate mogul Donald Trump, domestic diva Martha Stewart or
 "Lost's" reluctant leader Jack Shepherd, according to the most recent
 Badbossology survey. These famous bosses poke fun at the most extreme examples
 and serve as fodder for workplace gossip. New bosses need to be effective from
 day one to prevent being 'Dilberted,' according to Concelman. "Once you've
 been tagged as the pointy-haired boss, it takes a lot of time and effort to
 recover respect," he says.
 
     Your suspicions are right -- employees are wasting time
     But it's because they're complaining about you! Nearly one third of all
 employees spend at least 20 hours a month lamenting about the boss, which adds
 up to a lot of negative energy. "This is the kryptonite that sucks away a
 manager's power, and it can't be ignored," Concelman says. It is best
 addressed head-on after identifying if it is truly a leadership issue or the
 rantings of problem employees. "Experienced managers know that poor performers
 often complain the most. Still, it raises real concerns from other team
 members about the skills and behaviors of the boss," he adds.
 
     Employees will accept change -- if they're consulted first
     The majority of workers responded that the most important thing a new boss
 can do is ask them what they think should be different. If change creates
 stress, a new boss can foster a fear of the unknown in employees. "Giving them
 some input helps them gain control and feel less apprehensive about the
 change," Concelman says.
 
     It's not about you looking good now
     In fact, 60 percent of employees said the most respectable quality in a
 boss was their ability to help them succeed. "Effective leaders relinquish the
 spotlight and put others there instead," Concelman says. "It is a stressful
 transition, going from being judged on your own accomplishments to those of
 your team, and leaders have to help employees shine by putting their success
 ahead of his or her own."
 
     Your team doesn't share your goals
     A great disconnect between a boss and his/her team is in their priorities.
 According to DDI's 2005 Leadership Forecast research, bosses put the bottom
 line on the top of their priority list, while employees in the
 DDI/Badbossology survey rank it as the least of their worries. "A leader has
 to connect everyone's priorities and help individuals understand their
 contribution to organizational goals," Concelman explains. "At the same time,
 they have to listen to what is important to employees as well."
 
     Not feeling up to the task? You're not alone
     More than one in five workers surveyed said their greatest hesitation
 about becoming the boss was being perceived as incompetent, and nearly 25
 percent said they would feel unprepared for the responsibility. Why such
 hesitation to jump in? "There is a lot more at risk once you're in a
 leadership position," Concelman says.
 
     Don't worry about having employees who don't like you -- they'll just
 leave
     There is no honeymoon period for new bosses -- workers won't stick around
 once they realize they have a bad boss, with nearly half finding the door
 within six months. Ten percent said they would quit immediately and 36 percent
 said they would give it three to six months. "People vote with their feet, and
 if employees don't feel valued by the new boss, they'll quickly find someplace
 that will appreciate them," Concelman says. "While some of this turnover is
 the result of increased accountability or personality clashes, a bad boss is a
 leading cause."
 
     About DDI:
     Since 1970, Development Dimensions International, a global human resource
 consulting firm specializing in leadership and selection, has worked with some
 of the world's most successful organizations. With more than 1,000 associates
 in 75 offices in 26 countries around the world and headquarters in Pittsburgh,
 Pa., DDI advises businesses of all sizes -- including half of the Fortune 500
 -- on the selection, development and retention of their workforces and helping
 them realize business success. For more information go to
 http://www.ddiworld.com/aboutddi
 
     About Badbossology:
     Badbossology.com is a free resource site that provides news and resources
 on bad boss protection strategies to help both individuals and their
 companies.  It takes a responsible balanced approach and references material
 from sources such as The Chicago Tribune, CNNMoney.com, Fast Company, The
 Harvard Business School, and US and international government sites.  Visitors
 can raise questions, participate in discussion forums, and save key resources
 along with personal notes for fast future reference using the site's secure
 repository.
 
      Contact:
      Jennifer Pesci-Kelly
      (412) 257-3862
      jennifer.pesci@ddiworld.com
 
      Katie Brentzel
      (412) 473-3406
      katie.brentzel@ddiworld.com
 
 

SOURCE Development Dimensions International
    PITTSBURGH, Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- This year, newly appointed bosses may
 not be as enthusiastic about National Boss Day on October 16 as they
 anticipated prior to their promotion. These newly-minted managers shoulder the
 responsibility of the performance -- and even the success -- of their teams.
 And in a once-coveted role, they are closer to being reviled than revered.
     "BOSS has become a 'four-letter word' in the workplace," says Jim
 Concelman, manager, leadership development at Development Dimensions
 International (DDI). "Many new leaders are inheriting the bad feelings created
 by their predecessors and other less-than-competent bosses in the
 organization. These pioneers have a chance to repair these attitudes and
 change the preconceived idea that all bosses are bad -- but it needs to be
 done quickly while the person is new to his or her leadership role."
     In a series of survey questions conducted by Badbossology
 (www.badbossology.com), a bad-boss protection resource site, and DDI, a global
 human resources consulting firm, workers have spoken out on what they think
 about their bosses and what they could be doing better.
 What should every manager know as they embark upon his or her new job? Here
 are eight little secrets that every new leader needs to know:
 
    You're not really their friend anymore
 In fact, most workers said their greatest hesitation about becoming the boss
 would be supervising their friends and the resulting change in the water
 cooler culture. "This is uncomfortable because suddenly, the boss can't ignore
 a teammate's weaknesses or poor performance, and harder still, many bosses are
 responsible for employees' pay," Concelman says. The new manager has to hold
 his or her former peers accountable -- and treat the whole team equally,
 friend or not.
 
     It's not your jokes they're laughing at
     Your team actually compares you to prime-time boss caricatures such as
 "You're Fired" real estate mogul Donald Trump, domestic diva Martha Stewart or
 "Lost's" reluctant leader Jack Shepherd, according to the most recent
 Badbossology survey. These famous bosses poke fun at the most extreme examples
 and serve as fodder for workplace gossip. New bosses need to be effective from
 day one to prevent being 'Dilberted,' according to Concelman. "Once you've
 been tagged as the pointy-haired boss, it takes a lot of time and effort to
 recover respect," he says.
 
     Your suspicions are right -- employees are wasting time
     But it's because they're complaining about you! Nearly one third of all
 employees spend at least 20 hours a month lamenting about the boss, which adds
 up to a lot of negative energy. "This is the kryptonite that sucks away a
 manager's power, and it can't be ignored," Concelman says. It is best
 addressed head-on after identifying if it is truly a leadership issue or the
 rantings of problem employees. "Experienced managers know that poor performers
 often complain the most. Still, it raises real concerns from other team
 members about the skills and behaviors of the boss," he adds.
 
     Employees will accept change -- if they're consulted first
     The majority of workers responded that the most important thing a new boss
 can do is ask them what they think should be different. If change creates
 stress, a new boss can foster a fear of the unknown in employees. "Giving them
 some input helps them gain control and feel less apprehensive about the
 change," Concelman says.
 
     It's not about you looking good now
     In fact, 60 percent of employees said the most respectable quality in a
 boss was their ability to help them succeed. "Effective leaders relinquish the
 spotlight and put others there instead," Concelman says. "It is a stressful
 transition, going from being judged on your own accomplishments to those of
 your team, and leaders have to help employees shine by putting their success
 ahead of his or her own."
 
     Your team doesn't share your goals
     A great disconnect between a boss and his/her team is in their priorities.
 According to DDI's 2005 Leadership Forecast research, bosses put the bottom
 line on the top of their priority list, while employees in the
 DDI/Badbossology survey rank it as the least of their worries. "A leader has
 to connect everyone's priorities and help individuals understand their
 contribution to organizational goals," Concelman explains. "At the same time,
 they have to listen to what is important to employees as well."
 
     Not feeling up to the task? You're not alone
     More than one in five workers surveyed said their greatest hesitation
 about becoming the boss was being perceived as incompetent, and nearly 25
 percent said they would feel unprepared for the responsibility. Why such
 hesitation to jump in? "There is a lot more at risk once you're in a
 leadership position," Concelman says.
 
     Don't worry about having employees who don't like you -- they'll just
 leave
     There is no honeymoon period for new bosses -- workers won't stick around
 once they realize they have a bad boss, with nearly half finding the door
 within six months. Ten percent said they would quit immediately and 36 percent
 said they would give it three to six months. "People vote with their feet, and
 if employees don't feel valued by the new boss, they'll quickly find someplace
 that will appreciate them," Concelman says. "While some of this turnover is
 the result of increased accountability or personality clashes, a bad boss is a
 leading cause."
 
     About DDI:
     Since 1970, Development Dimensions International, a global human resource
 consulting firm specializing in leadership and selection, has worked with some
 of the world's most successful organizations. With more than 1,000 associates
 in 75 offices in 26 countries around the world and headquarters in Pittsburgh,
 Pa., DDI advises businesses of all sizes -- including half of the Fortune 500
 -- on the selection, development and retention of their workforces and helping
 them realize business success. For more information go to
 http://www.ddiworld.com/aboutddi
 
     About Badbossology:
     Badbossology.com is a free resource site that provides news and resources
 on bad boss protection strategies to help both individuals and their
 companies.  It takes a responsible balanced approach and references material
 from sources such as The Chicago Tribune, CNNMoney.com, Fast Company, The
 Harvard Business School, and US and international government sites.  Visitors
 can raise questions, participate in discussion forums, and save key resources
 along with personal notes for fast future reference using the site's secure
 repository.
 
      Contact:
      Jennifer Pesci-Kelly
      (412) 257-3862
      jennifer.pesci@ddiworld.com
 
      Katie Brentzel
      (412) 473-3406
      katie.brentzel@ddiworld.com
 
 SOURCE  Development Dimensions International