Being your boss – What does it mean? In one word, it’s all about self – leadership, and in a sense being an intrapreneur – someone who is focussed on his or her own goals which in a way contribute to the larger team and organisation goals.
The other benefit, which is more significant is always carrying the “I am the boss” attitude is this – in the world of today where the workplace and business environment is loaded with uncertainty, you can really be on your own, and have your enterprise as a professional base – it’s all about the rigor and discipline you build within, transforming you personally as a highly task or goal driven entrepreneur.
So, now that you have made up your mind that you will go with the “I am my own boss” mindset, how do you need to perceive the work and workplace? Here are some easy ways you can adapt yourself, and reap the benefits all through your professional life.
The best way to think about your professional contribution is – how is what I am doing today, helping my team achieve its goals, and it turn how does it impact the company’s topline or bottom line. This may sound too rigorous, but the fact remains that it is not.
Thanks to the intense competition in our workplaces and the world at large, every workplace ought to look at what tangible contribution every single person in the whole company does. Anyone who doesn’t fall in this scheme of things is clearly dispensable. Many a times, you wonder why someone known to you, and is supposedly professionally competent out of a job or facing a pink slip? If you have the luxury of having more information on how the person was placed in his organisation, it will be evident that his contribution was not too important for the company goals, and hence he is out of the race there.
The best way to be a great self-leader is to assess why you do what you do, at the workplace. For every task which you are doing or not doing, make sure you do a very simple and easy self assessment. Ask yourself why you are required to carry out the task. Once you get to know the WHY, the HOW of it will easily fall in place making life easier for you (and your team, in case you have one).
For example, you are supposed to make a plan for the next project at work, and have been procrastinating. Ask WHY is making this project plan important? You will get to statements like-
- – the plan is a reflection of my ability to manage projects.
- – the plan is a crucial link in the event flow for the team.
- – the plan asked from me is a reflection of the trust people have in me.
Once such a statement of purpose for the task is conclusively formed in the mind, then it gives enough shots of adrenalin in you, to just swiftly get into execution. This technique can apply to any task, in any facet of life. And this is a technique that will work. This is by far the best workplace technique you can have to be a self-leader.
You will also see that such a simple technique will instantly alleviate all the unnecessary stuff which you are resorting to, without even knowing you waste so much of time on it.
The way in which you will go about the task will be on a technique of your choice; but if there is no purpose behind the task, then no amount of thinking about the task, how to do it etc. will be sheer waste of time, and cause stress, knocking off personal productivity. So, do you have a WHY for your things to do today?
Avoid pointless banter and abhor politics. This only leads to a whole lot of waste of time, and more than that, acrimony which is completely avoidable. Not that you ought to have no views on anything under the sun, if you are at a workplace. It is just that there will be one whole lot of divergent views in such a situation, and its fine to co-exist. That is also another testimony to the fact that you get along well in a very heterogeneous crowd, which is a long term career plus. On the issue of spending time on other things apart from work, refer to the part where we spoke about the importance of task management, or the Why of doing things at work. That’s a good thing to do, when you feel that there is lot of waste of energies at the work place.
This is not to say that you must not unwind or have some fun at work, with peers, and colleagues. You must do it as much as you can, just that it should not happen that you focus so much on that part, which the core purpose of being at work is digressed from. Keep that in mind, and sure unwind as much as you can, and contribute to lighting up your workplace, in your way.
Another good thing to learn and master is – think from the perspective of your reporting boss, get into his shoes in getting to your KRAs. Anytime you feel frustrated with the kind of pressures coming on you, either because of meetings, or words (covert or overt), immediately getting into the boss’s shoe will help you gain a completely different perspective of the issue. Why is it that there is pressure to get to a particular milestone or goal, and how will the organisation be impacted by achieving the goal or otherwise? Asking yourself such questions are an easy way to be in the boss’ shoe. Not just that, it will also ease out the so called pressure, as you understand the gravitas, and see the undoable as doable. Thanks to just the way you approach the work or challenge at hand.
Upskill yourself and also look for opportunities to upskill your team, help others as much as you can, at the same time, not compromising the quality of your work, or the goal of getting to your KRAs. Being a constant learner is the hallmark of any good professional, true leaders at work make sure that they learn new skills, techniques, technology that helps work to be performed better etc. Today, every workplace has changed beyond recognition, and automation/AI are the buzzwords. If you are left behind in these (learn and adapt to every new technology possible), there is every chance that you will be dispensable at the earliest opportunity.
To make sure that you are indispensable, you must master the needy technology, and also make sure that the skill sets you possess, and the solutions you bring to the table are unique, and not easy to replicate by most of your peers and team. And not just that, by being so, you make sure you are a boss in your own might. This is also a kind of skills leadership, which comes only to those who can think like bosses, and work like one.
Act emotionally intelligent, and respond to any situation, only after application of mind – more so in seemingly provocative situations. Remember always, the stimulus can be elsewhere out of you, but the response is fully under your control. Understand and ask clearly what is expected as the final outcome of your role/job. Clarity in that sense comes to be of great help, and once that is mutually agreed, there is no dissonance later on.
There could a whole lot of other stuff which goes into making of someone who is a natural leader at work. While the list can go endless, we have covered some of the key aspects, which will make you become a natural leader at the workplace. Viz be your own boss while at the job.
Learning the necessary and unlearning that which is not relevant to the present work or workplace, added with a laser like focus on the workplace objectives/goals, making your skillsets unique, and working on increasing your competencies circle are somethings that will always be the key to being your own boss at the workplace.
Not just that, these will also make you an indispensable resource be in any employment, or in any time when you venture on for a stint in entrepreneurship. Good luck to the boss in you!