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Savvy Bosses – The Goldilocks Management Mindset

Savvy Bosses

Stanford University management professor Robert I. Sutton, PhD, author of the New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule, knows about bosses. He has received thousands of emails about the bad ones since the 2007 publication of that title. In his most recent book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best...and Learn from the Worst (Business Plus, 2010) Sutton focuses on what it takes to be a better boss.

Bosses determine how people experience work: joy versus despair, enthusiasm versus complaints, and well-being versus stress. Most bosses want to be good at what they do, yet many lack the mindset that precedes positive action and behavior.

As a boss who strives to do great work, you may need to adjust your thinking. The beliefs and assumptions you hold about yourself, your work and your people will determine your actions and ultimate success.

Goldilocks Management Mindset

Managers who are too assertive will damage relationships with their superiors, peers and subordinates. Conversely, those who aren’t assertive enough will fail to inspire their teams to strive for stretch goals, according to a study conducted by business professors Daniel Ames, PhD, and Francis Flynn, PhD (of Columbia and Stanford Universities, respectively).

Ames and Flynn speculate that the best bosses would receive an “average” rating from subordinates if measured in competitiveness, aggressiveness, passivity and submission.Stanford experiments confirm that micromanaging employees with relentless attention and advice usually undermines their efforts.

There are times when bosses need to coach people, discipline, communicate direction and intervene. The savviest bosses look for the right moments to apply pressure or encouragement to get the best out of their people. In choosing their moments, they command respect instead of contempt.

The Questions to Ask Yourself

1.  Goldilocks Management

a. Are you managing with just the right degree of assertiveness?

b. Are you creating ways to walk the line between enough intervention and micromanaging?

c. Are you neglecting to give your people guidance, wisdom and the feedback they need to succeed?

d. Are you obsessively monitoring every move and metric?

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders improve their interpersonal skills?  Leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I use just the right amount of direction and intervention with company employees?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who have a balanced approach when working with people.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you create a culture where all employees are fully engaged and growing. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to http://www.workingresources.com, write to mbrusman@workingresources.com, or call 415-546-1252.

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