Great performers of all kinds make it look easy. Great athletes and great musicians and great dancers all make their art look almost effortless. Great leaders do the same thing.
You’ve probably had a great boss. Think back to a time when it was great to go to work. You probably had a great boss then. If you weren’t fortunate enough to have a great boss, you’ve certainly read or heard about them.
Great bosses always seem to know what to do and they seem to do it effortlessly. Problem solving is easy. They know how to handle dicey interpersonal issues. That’s how it may be now, but, trust me, that’s not how it was at the beginning.
Making It Look Easy Takes Time
No great performer, or great boss for that matter, got good all at once. It takes time to get comfortable with the basics of the work. Then it takes time to develop the skills you need to make it look easy, even if it’s not.
You Can Speed Up Your Development
There’s only one way I know of to speed things up. Instead of just doing and getting better by accident, take control of the process. I use the acronym PAR to outline it. Think of improvement as getting up to PAR.
P is for plan. Make a conscious choice about what you’re going to work on and what you’re going to do. My ebook, Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time, has more than three hundred suggestions to choose from.
A is for act. Do it. The first time you do anything it won’t go perfectly. Accept that. Remember, you’re working on this because you want to get better at it and you will get better as you work at it.
R is for review. After significant events and at regular times, like every evening or weekend, review how you did and figure out what you can do differently and better.
There’s actually another R, and it stands for Repeat. Go back to Plan and continue the improvement cycle.
It Won’t be Easy
Prepare to be uncomfortable, because that’s how it is when we’re learning new skills, especially in a social context. Prepare to be more uncomfortable if you accelerate the process. That’s the price of progress.
The truth is that becoming a great boss is something almost everyone can do. It’s not magic, it’s method, and you can learn it. Pick something to improve, work on it, assess your progress, and do it again.