Startup Watch: Five ways to be great boss

The world is becoming flatter – in the sense of what was originally envisaged by Tom Friedman and Nandani Nilekani. But in the startup ecosystem, it is even more so. Leadership styles have changed. Hierarchies through exist are more lenient and the word ‘boss’ has eased up a bit. In many cases bosses are friends and office spaces a social gathering. But when it’s time to deliver numbers and bottomline, there is need for leadership. Here are some ideas on how to be a good yet solid boss with some real time experiences by women entrepreneurs who have built teams and deliver everyday.

Do not keep pushing hierarchy in their face

A boss need not remind their employees of this position every now and then. When authority is shoved at faces all the time, it becomes a stressful environment. Tanushree Hazarika, from Assam-based Eclectic Group that invests in media says leaders should work towards “developing a work culture where there is enough comfort for one to one dialogues to happen, giving space to creativity, encouraging decision-making and team spirit behaviour.”

How to be a good boss

Don’t hesitate in praising

This will go a long way! Nobody likes to be shouted at, all the time. While it is important to let people know their mistakes, it is even more important to pat their shoulders when they have achieve a target or a goal. “The reason you have a team is because you as an individual cannot fill all the gaps yourself. So everyone in the team brings the best of their skills to the table. If you respect that, you’re on your way to being an effective leader,” shares Kirti Jayakumar of Red Elephant.

Treat them as humans

They are not tools who come to work place to do tasks. They are just as human as you and respecting that makes a difference. Do not shout orders at them but instead communicate instructions properly so they do not feel they are mistreated.

How to be a good boss
“Leadership is not about standing before a team and asking them to do your bidding,” says Kirthi Jayakumar, the founder of The Red Elephant. “The idea of being a real boss really centres around being empathetic, open and welcoming of everything from suggestions, ideas and better ways to approach a given task.”
Lead By Example
Work harder. Get your hands dirty and know your business. Your colleague will be inspired by leaders who have knowledge as power. It’s not always easy but what’s that saying – it’s lonely at the top. And so it’s okay to take charge and responsibility and focus on getting it right.
Jayakumar adds that being a good boss is all about leading by example. One shouldn’t ask their employee to do something they wouldn’t and burdening them with unrealistic expectations is a total no-no.

Connect Personally

It’s almost a cliche but one that ought to be true at all times. Make it fun, interesting and knowledge driven. Lend your team an ear when they need you. Speak to everyone. Kishi Arora, founder of Foodaholics says, “For me a great boss also means a friend. A friend that can make you realize that you have more ability than you know so that you can do consistent and better work.”

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