The Difference Between Good and Terrible Bosses

 I’ve been lucky to stay in touch with many of my previous employees, and they always reminisce about working WITH me, rather than FOR me. My style is collaborative and open, a blend of all the styles listed below.

I stay away from being domineering because it doesn’t bring out the best in my staff, or my business. I know that when people are on the same playing field, without feeling threatened or intimidated, we see the best outcomes. 

I hire people who will bring strong ideas to the table and make us a better team. From there, I instil my passion and purpose so we can all do better – together. 

I’ve been managing people since I was 14 years old, so I learnt early on that telling them what to do doesn’t get the job done well. That’s when I began asking open-end questions: “What do you want to do… what did you like… what didn’t you like…what do you think..?” 

30 years later, I maintain this collaborative way of working. 

None of my decisions are driven by fear or ego – and the same goes for everyone in my team. 


Here are four management styles you should be striving for:


A visionary manager has a huge passion for the overarching goals of the business, and she instills this passion into the team. Only interested in outcomes, the manager provides space and flexibility for the team to work at an autonomous level. This self-motivation provides self-satisfaction. It’s easy to achieve within your team, if they understand and believe in your purpose, as well as their own purpose within your business. 


As the CEO of a large company, I would visit every person on my team daily and ask for their opinion or expertise. Collaborative managers ask questions, they aren’t afraid to be the dumbest person in the room and they invite their team members to solve problems. The one thing that don’t do is dominate or force their own solutions onto the team. The best business decision is far more important than his ego and this manager believes that five heads are better than one. Just be sure to keep your meetings brief and, as the head chef, remember that you have the final decision. 


This style sees that team members are pushed to raise the bar of their work and the business itself. The motivating manager wants to be ahead of the curve and, therefore, strives for new and different ideas. He will often ask employees whether they want to up-skill or further educate themselves. This manager is extremely optimistic and gives his team members a strong sense of self-worth. Employees are driven and want to do better. Just be careful not to push your team too far towards burn out, and remember to give them genuine feedback so they can grow. 


Employees in these teams are highly-skilled and motivated, and don’t require a hands-on approach. Team members are able to work at a top-level, strategic position in the business. Trusted in both strategy and execution, the team sets the bar for innovation and creation. While they are setting their own objectives and daily tasks, it’s important for you to review those objectives regularly so everyone stays on track with the overall trajectory of the business. 


Why do I want an engaged and empowered team? Having an engaged workforce means I have a reduced staff turnover, superior products, improved systems and a better business. 

Spending a few minutes each day with each person has been my secret to getting the balance right. 

This is the perfect chance to check in on your own management style. Are you fuelled by fear or ego? Or by passion, innovation and collaboration? 

If you feel you may be a domineering personality, or you panic and overreact at minor errors, you need to ask yourself, is the behaviour I’m eliciting right now aligned with my overarching purpose? Or is it actually counterintuitive to what I’m trying to achieve here in my business?

The best way to learn more about yourself is in our most comprehensive course, Business Foundations. Check it out here. Self-awareness is key to your success.

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