How do you measure up as a boss?

What kind of boss are you? Answer these questions.

  • Have you overheard employees asking what kind of mood you’re in before stepping into your office?
  • Are employees reluctant to offer opinions even when asked?
  • Is it difficult for you to say “thank you?”
  • Do you publicly criticize workers?
  • Must workers request feedback to get it?
  • Is feedback usually negative?
  • Do you play favorites?
  • Do you make jokes about workers’ weaknesses or missteps?
  • Do you interrupt employees when they’re trying to tell you something or contribute in meetings?
  • Do you take credit for others’ work?
  • Do you give assignments to employees without first reviewing their workloads with them?
  • Do you rigidly enforce rules regardless of the circumstances?
  • Do you demand that questioning workers just follow orders?
  • Have you lost an employee to “personality differences?”
  • Is it unusual for you to promote from within?
  • Do you spend more time issuing directives than having conversations?
  • Do you hoard information and keep employees in the dark?
  • Do you make and cancel meetings without input from participants?
  • Do you discourage workers from trying anything new?

If you answered “no” to all, stop reading and shine your halo. If you answered “yes” to fewer than four questions, you’re human. If you answered “yes” to 5-9, you need serious improvement. If you answered “yes” to 10 or more questions, you need a major overhaul. You’re probably already losing workers or undermining productivity and morale. Fortunately, your answers offer a great place to start revamping your image and leadership skills. Just concentrate on turning every no into a yes!

Source: The Motivational Manager, April 2003, adapted from the Joan Lloyd at Work Web site.