Part 1 - Two Simple Facts
Being “boss” sure is tough. What really makes it tough is that
being the ”boss” you have two facts that are working both “for
you” and “against you” at the same time. Yet these two relatively
simple facts are what being boss is all about. And how you decide
to play one fact against the other will make ALL the difference in
As a boss, if you haven’t caught onto what these two facts are
yet, you might be surprised to hear that you already know what
they are. You “have to know” them to take on the role. Yet,
when you hear them, there’s a high probability that nothing of
significance will change for you or your operations.
You see, knowledge is very difficult for most people to apply and
hence most people are left powerless to use knowledge to their
advantage. They refuse to use it either by design or default.
Hence, “knowing” makes no difference in most cases.
Now, I’m sure that you may take what I say and dub me as
unnecessarily cocky in these statements. It might be because over
time I’ve become certain of what I say and don’t even try any
more to hold back sharing it. And to aggravate my attitude,
experience and research back me up on this. Statistics show that
98% of the American population has heard what these two
certain facts are and all involved have taken absolutely no action
on their own behalf to use the information to make a significant
difference for themselves and those they care for most.
And this is also backed up by the fact that most people will invest
in assistance yet never take real advantage of it. Now, if you
want a brutal reality check on this, ask yourself how many of
those self-help books and tapes are collecting dust on your shelves
less than 30% completed, much less read or listened to for a
second or third time. What’s that? A huge number you say?!?
Well... ... you're not alone.
Yup, as boss, you certainly have a double-edged sword you’re
welding. And it’s surprising that you have no anxiety at all that at any
instance the very edge you use to get your cut of income can just as
easily cut you out.
So let’s spill it out on the table for you to see it in all its splendor.
If you’re owner and operator of a business, there is no doubt in
my mind that you’re the indisputable “Boss.” And with that
understanding, I believe we both shall agree on two simple facts:
1) Within all legal, moral and governing constraints and
regulations, “you're the one who makes up the rules of your
business game”; and 2) When application is required for
performance, follow thru and non follow thru, “you're the one who
enforces the rules of that game.”
Them’s the facts. It’s really an elegant system at play and you’re
the sole creator of it - making and enforcing the rules. And it’s a
great game if you play it well and respect the two facts that bring
you into bosshood. The payoffs sure can be immense on all fronts
of your personal and professional life.
And there in lies the tricky trouble most bosses don’t get. As “the
boss,” you’re supposed to practice what you preach and hold
yourself accountable for the game at play, the very game you
“made up.” This means you’re the “one” who is responsible for
taking action to assure the game is being played out according to
the rules you set up. Yet most often, this is not what normally
Usually, when upsets occur in the boss’s game and the boss is
called to decide to support the original choice of being in business,
things start getting very fuzzy. The boss may start making “choices” on
the part of the boss’s personal circumstances rather then “decisions” on
the part of the business and its plan. (Please see previous articles on
“Choosing to Decide ...” for further clarification on this subject.)
And when those choices come into fruition, well... the likelihood is slim
that the boss will enforce those stringent rules designed to move the
business forward. You see, the boss can’t fire the person who didn't
follow thru or make a supportive decision here because that person IS the
So the “Boss” makes a unilateral choice to either suspend the
rules or rewrite them. Hence the enforcement, either firing or
other penalties that would normally occur, won’t happen. The
boss gets a reprieve by rewriting the rules and an attitude of “the
rules be damned” starts to prevail.
TRANSLATION: The original rules (called the business plan in
some cases) go out the window. It’s quite a gnarly wicket we
weave - I know this personally 'cause I’m a boss too!
Now let’s get back to the subtitle of this little blurb. Who’s boss
when you run into situations that requires you to decide against
accepting a) clients that don’t meet your customer profile; b) job
orders for products and services beyond the scope of your
business operations plan; c) interruptions and mis-directions from
people non supportive of your business plan; and d) any or all
matters that are not pertinent or supportive of your original intent?
The "business feud" survey says the correct response is “The
boss is” and in your case, “You are!”
And who’s the boss when you choose to accept any or all matters
that are not supportive of your original intent as scoped out in your
business plan? The survey still says “You are,” but you’re now taking
direction from other influences that have their own agenda non supportive
of your operations. Hence you might have the title but you’re definitely
not leading. And if you’re not leading you’re being lead.
CAPITALIZING ON A THEME: Ask yourself with the utmost
of honesty: How often have you been called to enforce the rules
and you were in “one of those moods” where you merely rewrote
the rules to fit the situation? How often has this come back and bit you,
costing you additional time, money and stress? What chronic situations
have you been experiencing that create a need to break the rules of your
game? Do you truly have a system set up to hold you accountable enough to
adhere to the rules because the cost of non performance is too high to
bare? And the most important question to ask yourself is, “Who holds you,
‘the boss’, accountable?”
PREVIEW: My tale of woe :-P. I’ve a tough job, too. I’m often
hired by the very bosses who don’t want to be held accountable
for what they hired me to hold them accountable for - keeping
them on track, focused and accountable. Let’s peek at what can
be done to bring into play some checks and balances on the
typical boss’s system to cause higher productivity - next week.
Have a BODACIOUS week!
Coach John S. Nagy is CEO and Lead Business Coach for Coaching for Success. Inc., a Business Coaching Service specifically designed for top level decision makers dedicated to peak performance in all facets of their activities. He's hired to focus them continuously in activities that bring higher returns on their resource use. His programs are for the seriously committed. This means having his clients work "ON" their businesses, not just "IN" it. He's a published author and a multi-degree professional with a nationwide client base. Coach Nagy can be reached through his E-mail address at his website at http://www.coach.net and by calling 813-949-0718.
Copyright © 1999 John S. Nagy