Archive for Thursday, April 1, 2010

Do you have what it takes to be a successful boss?

April 1, 2010


On the street

What’s the best type of person to work with?

You’ve got to be able to think on your feet and be innovative. They must be eager to help and enthusiastic.

More responses

Would you make a good boss?

Take this quiz, based on the advice of area bosses, and find out.

1. When someone you’re relying on screws up, you …

A. Get really angry and chastise him. You can’t believe he’d let you down.

B. Realize that things don’t always work out. Maybe something happened, but you talk to him about it to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

C. Get outwardly annoyed, but ultimately just deal with it. You would do a better job anyway.

2. A small contingent of employees is getting frustrated with you and disagreeing with you on a project, but you know your idea is best for the company. You …

A. Listen to their ideas, but explain your thinking to them and tell them what they want won’t happen. What they want is for the good of themselves and not everyone else.

B. Try to appease them. That way you don’t cause as many problems for the company and other employees and the frustrated employees are satisfied and leave you alone.

C. Give in to them. They’ve been pushing for what they want for so long, it would just be better to give it to them rather than have to deal with them and their irritation at work every day.

3. When you have a stressful day at work and someone adds just one more thing, you …

A. Deal with it. People need to know you won’t fly off the handle, even when you have too much on your plate.

B. Get overwhelmed and give up for the day. You just can’t deal with this anymore.

C. Could get mad or be OK. It depends on the day and your mood.

4. An employee shows up late to work and doesn’t complete an important assignment. You …

A. Worry about what’s going on, but decide not to talk to her. Maybe she’ll fix the problems on her own.

B. Let it go. She’s done this before and you’re used to it by now.

C. Talk with her about it immediately. Performance issues only get worse, not better, so the sooner you talk about it the better.

5. You explain a big project to your employees. When one of them turns in something that isn’t what you wanted, you …

A. Are annoyed, and he knows. You take his work and rework it into what you want.

B. Talk to him about it and re-explain yourself. Maybe you didn’t communicate what you wanted effectively enough.

C. Can’t believe it. Was he not listening to your directions? Then you lecture him and make him start the whole thing over again.

6. Your boss wants you to lead a major project. In managing it, you …

A. Are in everyone’s business. You want to make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing at all times, even to the point of getting in the way of production.

B. Give the main idea but keep out of the process. You want to see where people will take themselves, but hope it doesn’t end in a failed or incorrect project.

C. Come up with the concept and check in regularly with progress on the little stuff, but don’t become overbearing. People will never learn if you don’t give them a chance, but they need to be guided in the right direction, too.

7. Work is getting busy and people are stretched thin because the economy means fewer employees for more work. You …

A. Make sure to take time out of your busy day to compliment their good work. They’re as frazzled as you are.

B. Work them harder and criticize their mistakes. At least they have a job, and they should be doing it better.

C. Give fleeting compliments, but not very often. It’s hard enough to keep your own head on straight let alone worry about them.

8. It’s your busiest day of the month and you have a big proposal due by the end of the day, but an employee comes to you for help on a tiny part of the business. You …

A. Give a couple of pieces of advice, but try to get him out of your office as fast as you can. You have stuff to do.

B. Help him for however long it takes. You know you need to stay accessible to employees so they trust and respect you.

C. Turn him away. He should have known to ask you questions on a day when you weren’t completely swamped.

9. You become the boss of a friend. You …

A. Let him get away with whatever he wants. Friends stick together, right?

B. Are chummy with him at work, but notice people are a little grouchy when your friendship is brought up. You don’t understand how other people could think you are favoring him, even when you aren’t.

C. Separate work and friendship and are strictly professional. It’s important that other employees see you aren’t favoring him.

10. An employee repeatedly is having a problem with a task. You …

A. Expect her to figure it out herself. You couldn’t show her how to do it anyway because you have no idea how to do it yourself.

B. Jump in and show her how to do it correctly. You’ve done her job before, so it’s easy for her to learn from you.

C. Call in someone to help her and then go back to work.

Add up your results based on these point values.

  1. A = 0, B = 2, C = 1
  2. A = 2, B = 1, C = 0
  3. A = 2, B = 0, C = 1
  4. A = 1, B = 0, C = 2
  5. A = 1, B = 2, C = 0
  6. A = 0, B = 1, C = 2
  7. A = 2, B = 0, C = 1
  8. A = 1, B = 2, C = 0
  9. A = 0, B = 1, C = 2
  10. A = 0, B = 2, C = 1


14 to 20 points: You’re boss material! You are available to employees and are willing to work with them when they are having problems.

“You need to be in touch with the people you work with and be accessible to them,” said Joe Flannery, president of Weaver’s. “That’s the secret to most successful bosses.”

You also recognize the work your employees are doing, which is especially important to do in this economy, said Kelly Calvert, human relations director at The World Company.

You are reasonable when employees screw up.

“You should communicate effectively with a wide variety of people without being mean or accusatory,” said Will Katz, director of the Kansas University Small Business Development Center. “Don’t forget that part of what you’re doing as a leader is being responsible for the morale of the team.”

7 to 13 points: You still have some work to do. You need to work on how you appear to your employees, and sometimes don’t manage your emotions well.

“If people bring situations to you, they should have a good idea how you’ll react,” said Will Katz, director of the KU Small Business Development Center.

You might need to learn how to stand up for what you know is right for you and the company.

“Be honest and stick to your guns,” Katz said.

You might also need to build your knowledge about what’s going on daily at your business.

“People realize if you’ve done it in your past, then you have a little more credibility,” said Joe Flannery, president of Weaver’s.

0 to 6 points: You have a long way to go. You aren’t always willing to work with employees when they have issues, whether it’s their fault or not. You also might have a problem controlling your emotions in high-stress situations.

“You have to be calm and rational,” said Donna Hultine, director of Parking and Transit at KU. “Your people are going to want to see you be calm if it’s a crisis.”

You sometimes wait to address or completely ignore problems with employees.

“Don’t wait to address performance issues because they tend to snowball,” said Kelly Calvert, human resources director at The World Company.


frank regnier 8 years ago

If you attempt to underpay your employees > 20 points If you are deceitful > 10 points If you are abusive to your employees (bonus) > 20 points If you abuse your authority > 10 points If you worry only about yourself and your position > 10 points If you have absolutely no communicative skills (bonus) 100 points If you can only respond "yes sir" to your superior> 50 points

These traits are vital to become a successful Boss!

BigPrune 8 years ago

Do you have what it takes to be a successful boss?

It depends on the gender of my immediate superior.

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