While we all see, read, and scan countless blog posts on a daily basis, how many stand out? And why does a certain post stand out? Recently, I read an excellent post on Google Plus (link provided at the end of this post), and not only the title but the message have remained with me.
The question posed by the post was, should we banish the word “boss” from our business vocabulary? There are so many negative connotations with the word boss stemming from how a boss supervises his or her employees to how he or she interacts with them in casual situations. However, since the boss oversees departments and teams, assigns projects, and conducts performance reviews, it is clear why the individual known as “the boss” is in charge. (Consider all the Dilbert cartoons.)
Just like you, I have seen people change overnight when they assume the title of boss. It is as if a light bulb goes on in their head, and they are no longer able to communicate or empathize with the workers. This does not create a positive working environment – and the boss is solely to blame.
So, what can be done? The memorable blog post recommended shifting from the term boss toward an educational term of mentor. But that really doesn’t go far enough. Titles are not the only thing that must change in order for workplaces to become more productive.
Corporate cultures must change, and in the process, anyone who has the privilege to supervise employees, teams, and departments must evolve. These supervisors or managers or leaders must be credible advocates for their employees. They must provide their employees with the tools to do their jobs and the authority to make decisions to improve customer experiences.
In the words of leadership expert Mark Herbert, “Leadership is a gift, not a position. It doesn’t require you to be the smartest person in the room…It requires you to block and tackle for others.”
So, would you use my new term for your boss: Employee Empowerment Advocate? If it improves your workplace culture, I invite you to adopt the term.
Here’s the post: What If We Banished “Boss?” by Wendy Appel
GUEST POST BY DEBBIE LASKEY, MBA
Debbie Laskey has 15 years of marketing experience and an MBA Degree with a concentration in International Marketing and Management. She developed her diverse marketing expertise while working in the high-tech industry, the Consumer Marketing Department at Disneyland Paris in France, the non-profit arena, and the insurance industry. Currently, Debbie is a consultant to small businesses and non-profits in California, and specializes in brand marketing, social media, employee engagement, leadership development, and customer experience marketing. Since 2002, Debbie has served as a judge for the Web Marketing Association’s annual web award competition and has been recognized as one of the "Top 100 Branding Experts" to follow on Twitter