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Be The Boss - Joanne Howe

Be the BOSS!

An article by Joanne Howe, HOWE Consultancy…

In my job on a day to day basis working with companies who need HR support, I see a huge variance in management styles and although this can be a good thing, one cap definitely doesn’t fit all, there are still some rules that we should, as bosses, all try and stick to.

My picture, expertly drawn by my god daughter Lydia Hart, aged nine, says a lot about the attributes that a good boss should have. One day I was describing the below 10 characteristics and I asked her to draw a picture of the perfect boss and this is what she came up with!



Here is my Boss Masterclass for managers of all ages:

BIG EARS – Good bosses not only listen and pay attention when their staff are talking, they care too and take a genuine interest in the welfare of their staff.

LONG LEGS – A good boss needs to be seen walking about the place, both inside and outside the building.  Staff seeing their boss taking an active interest in what they’re doing builds morals and makes them feel part of a team, as opposed to an individual.

A WHITE SMILE - Always project a smile on your face when walking into work and when greeting people.  A warm, welcoming smile is one of the best ways to communicate with your staff, showing them that they are appreciated and that you’re always pleased to see them.

DIRTY HANDS – When it’s an all-hands-on-deck situation, you have to be prepared to get your hands dirty and get stuck in to the task at hand. There is nothing builds teamwork better than seeing the boss get stuck in, when everyone else has to.

AN OPEN DOOR POLICY – There will always be times when you need to get on with your job and left alone, however always try and be accessible.  Always encourage conversation with your staff and try to be sympathetic to their individual challenges.

CLEAR VISION – Staff prefer to follow leaders, nobody wants to work with someone who is bumbling around not knowing what to do next and firefighting instead of running the company and planning.  Businesses also prefer to use the services of companies perceived as successful.

TONGUE CONTROL – Emotional responses rarely pay off.  If you let your tongue run away with you, not only does the person on the receiving end feel bad, but you also embarrass yourself.  I’m not suggesting if a person needs disciplining to not do it, but always take a deep breath, think about what you want to say and don’t deliver it in a way that lacks professionalism. Remember, praise in public and reprimand in private.

STRONG STOMACH – When things get tough, don’t show fear.  See tough times as challenges and remember there is usually a way to get through it!

FIRM HAND – You are the boss, you are going to sometimes have to make unpopular decisions.  Don’t shy away from your responsibilities or get into a debate.  Certain decisions need to be made without negotiations, so go ahead and make them and stick to them.

And finally – LOVE – Now we all need to feel loved and good bosses always show love and compassion, so go ahead and spread the love........

Joanne Howe is the MD at Howe Consultancy offering HR support to businesses and can be contacted on / 07921 256 981 /  


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