21 Dec Top Dog: Things To Know About Being the Boss
Whether you’ve started your own company, or been hired to run someone else’s, being the boss is exciting. After all it’s a statement that you have the ability and confidence to be the last word on all things.
No matter where you are in your career, there is a satisfying sense of accomplishment. And no one tells you what to do…sort of. So it might be surprising as you settle into the role and discover all is not as you expected.
Here are some surprising things about being the boss:
You do have bosses. Of course on paper, there’s not one senior to you. But if you have a board, you’ll have to answer to them on a regular basis. And even if technically you don’t have to follow their advice, you will feel some pressure to do so.
And if you have big, important clients – and they know how much they matter to you – they can dictate a lot just because it’s too risky to disagree.
You don’t make all the rules. Sure, being the boss means that you can decide deadlines for reports and set maximums on travel spend. However, no one can escape the requirements that come from the law, or local licensing agencies, or accounting practices. You will regularly find that a lawyer or government agency will overrule your plans, if it violates the rules.
You’ll question everything. Ok, not everything. But it is lonely at the top, in part because you have no one to really keep you in check (who wants to be the one to tell the boss that their wrong?). But also, you will find yourself questioning the motives of people who work for you. Are they giving you useful information, or information that serves their own purposes?
Managing office politics will be harder than ever. You will have to find a way to live in the uncertainty – that’s definitely one of the conditions of being the boss.
You will have a tough boss. Because, you are your boss. You are constantly going to critique yourself, assess good decisions and bad, wonder which strategy is more solid. And it’s very unlikely that you will ever give yourself more than a B-.
That’s not all bad, you are also your biggest motivational coach, and you’ll need to keep yourself pushing to the next goal. But it also risks feeling constantly not quite good enough.
Still, being the boss could be the greatest job ever.
Being the last word on everything can be exhilarating. And more than just a cheap rush, it can feel empowering and freeing to answer to (almost) no one. And if you have the confidence, ambition and discipline, you could be responsible for building something great. Be sure to give it the boss’ approval.