You're a boss. It doesn't matter if you're a CEO or a first line supervisor or a boss who's somewhere in the middle of the org chart.
You've got two jobs. You must accomplish the mission through the team. And you must care for the people who make up your team. You know there are people who do those things surpassingly well.
Art Jones was one of them. Art was, very simply, the best supervisor I ever saw up close. He was a sergeant in a small police department. And he made being a great boss look easy.
If you're like most bosses, that's what you aspire to. But you didn't get much training when you were promoted. You probably didn't get much support during the especially trying transition from individual contributor to boss, either. And you probably get very little continuing training or help in how to be a better boss.
So if you want to get better, it's up to you. That's true even if your company gives you some training and support. The leader you become will be the result of your choices and your actions.
It doesn't happen all at once. Art sat on a panel of experienced supervisors that I used in my basic supervisory skills training. During one session a new supervisor who knew his reputation asked him how he got so good at being a supervisor.
Art's response: "A little bit every day for twenty years."
That's what you're in for. If you want to be a better boss, you have to take control of your own development. And you have to be in it for the long haul. Here are some things that will help you get better, faster.
Make development a conscious effort. You'll get better from experience alone. But you'll develop more effectively if you think about what you should be learning and how to learn it.
Make the most of the resources available. Use the resources that your company, community college, or trade association offer to help you develop.
Master the art of getting and using feedback. Learn to critique your own performance. Get feedback from your team members and your peers. Use coaches to accelerate your development.
Develop the art of choosing information sources that will help you improve. Use business books, business news and magazines, blogs and podcasts that ramp up your knowledge and stimulate your thinking.
Boss's Bottom Line? Your leadership development is your responsibility.