Ep #41: How to Be a Good Boss

 In Podcast

As an entrepreneur, learning how to be a good boss involves a transition from being totally self-reliant to learning how to delegate your abilities and results to other people. FYI – it’s totally normal to struggle with that.

What you’ll find in this episode:

  1. The reasons you’re not good at managing people as an entrepreneur.
  2. How to avoid being a “swooper.”
  3. How to determine what kind of leader you want to be.
  4. The steps to take toward becoming a great boss.

Featured on the Show and Other Notes:

  • More on “swoopers” – Who SHOULD and Who SHOULD NOT work for a Female Entrepreneur
  • Do you love the podcast? Please go to iTunes or Google Play and write a review. Then do a screen shot and go to Instagram and put that on your story or feed and tag me @KrisPlachyCoach. I’ll then send you my favorite books list.
  • The Entrepreneurial Management Program.
  • The Founder’s Lab is my private coaching program for female founders who are generating more than 7-figures in their revenue. It’s a complement to the Entrepreneurial Management program and is a part of the work you get as a client of mine. This isn’t a “class.” I don’t give you copious tons of things to do. I give you the ones that matter and then we keep talking about them. We apply them. That’s why it’s called the Founder’s Lab.
  • There is also the Founder’s Lab Fundamentals – for women who have just gotten started hiring people –making about $200-300K in their business.
  • Go here to book an appointment with me.
  • If you haven’t joined my email subscribers list, you can do that here.


Subscribe by your favorite method and my podcast will come right to you!

Podcast Transcript

Hey, everyone. I’m Kris Plachy, and this is How to Lead for Female Entrepreneurs and Founders because the best way to grow a business is to grow the person who’s running it. Let’s go ahead and get started.

Hey there. Welcome, welcome. I’m so glad you’re tuning in today. Thank you, thank you. How are you? Gosh, it’s almost the end of the year, you guys. I’m just enjoying that it’s not freezing yet in California. I know that will change. But so far we’re doing okay. As I record this, I’m just about to go on an incredible trip to Belize, which I can’t wait for. So, I’m super excited to go to Belize. Have you been to Belize? Oh my gosh. I can’t wait.

So, I met with a new client yesterday, and she said so many cute things to me in our call. I’m super excited to work with her, but when she filled out … When you apply to work with me, which, by the way, again, is krisplachy.com/appointment, I meet with all of my new clients, I have you fill out a questionnaire. One of the things that she said in her questionnaire was that she’s tired of not knowing management things, which I thought was super cute. And she’s running a very successful business. Honestly, by my early assessment, I’m sure she’s actually quite good at what she does even in terms of managing her team. But because she didn’t ever have the management training or she doesn’t have confidence, which then every time you make a decision you’re kind of like, “I don’t know. Is this what you’re supposed to do?” which is what I think so many of my clients when we first meet say, like, “This is what I’ve been doing. I don’t know if I’m doing it right,” and so …

And the other thing that she said that I thought was super cute is she said, “I just want to be a good boss.” I thought a lot about that ever since she said that to me. I’m like, “Oh, what makes for a good boss?” What I first started with is really my thoughts about why you might be a terrible boss and why we all can be terrible bosses as entrepreneurs and sort of level set there and then build off of that and talk about being a good boss. So, let’s talk about for a second.
Why is it sort of like, duh, of course you’re not good at managing people as an entrepreneur? I think the first and foremost reason why you’re terrible at it, if you are, is because you are a very independent person. The fact that you have your own business says an incredible amount about you. You take risks. You trust yourself. You are willing to go it alone, to work alone, to make it happen. Bootstrapping solopreneurs are different than venture capital-built companies. They’re not better or worse, they’re just different. A bootstrapper basically hangs out a shingle or an add-on on Facebook or wherever, right? You put your name out there, you put your thing out there, and you rock it out by yourself. So, that says a lot about you.

So that innate, internal, personal confidence makes it so that you are incredibly trusting of yourself, but maybe not very good at relying on others. And of course, learning how to manage and lead a team is that transition of being totally self-reliant and dependent on yourself to learning how to delegate your abilities, and delegate results to other people, and work on the trust that you have to develop in order to do that. So, it’s normal if you struggle with that. That’s understandable, and there’s nothing wrong here. It’s just that will be something you’re going to have to work through to develop the skills to be a good boss, right?

I also know it’s a mindset. What can make you really bad at managing has made you very successful as a solopreneur or as an entrepreneur with very small team. That’s because you have a thought process that everybody works as hard as you do, and you have a thought process that triggers the amount of work that you work. You have a thought process that has afforded you or built for you an incredible … a sense of ownership of your results. And you have a thought process that really doesn’t allow for you to create space between you and failure very well. You are committed to the result and to the success of whatever it is that you’re doing.

That’s not to say that resoundingly people who aren’t entrepreneurs don’t think that way. So I’m not making a huge polarity here. I’m just saying that you stepping into an entrepreneurial role and really taking all that risk is a mindset that a lot of other people don’t have. Lots of people have absolutely no interest in taking that kind of risk. They have no interest in working that hard. They don’t really care about a result. They just want to show up, get a paycheck, and go home. And that’s fine. That serves people. Why not? Get it. If that makes you happy, do what makes you happy.

But, I know for you, you have this mindset. So when you bring that mindset into work, there’s also then an expectation of others that can be incredibly high to hold for other people. And the level of frustration that can stimulate for you can make you very bad at leading and managing because you can get very frustrated. You can get very impatient. You can get very angry. You could start to feel powerless, and helpless, and even burdened by their lack of the way that you think and act. So, it’s natural, again, for you to have this mindset, and it is that mindset that drives your results. But then, as you’ve probably heard me say before, every superpower can have its poison. You have an underbelly here of that mindset, which is that you make assumptions that other people think the same way that you do.

All this makes for a cocktail that entrepreneurs often have, which is it’s just easier for me to do it myself. That thought process makes you very difficult to work for. Because even if you do learn the tactical process of delegating, if you don’t let go of the thoughts around it’s just easier if I do it myself or nothing is done right unless I do it, I’m the only one who knows how to do this right, those thoughts, even if you hire people, and even if you give them jobs descriptions and work to do, those thoughts will interfere because you will do what I have talked about on previous podcasts. You will be a swooper, and you will dive into other people’s work in a way that is not effective and can undermine their work, their performance, and their own enjoyment of working for you. So, that also is something to work on.

So, it’s normal. All this is to say, of course, you don’t know how to manage people very well. This is a normal sort of growth pattern that entrepreneurs have to go through. Or maybe we call it a gauntlet to sort of understand all of this about yourself, and then as you stay on that trajectory learn how to lead others to achieve results without having to be the one who does everything.
So then if we ask the question how to be a good boss and how to want to be a good boss, I want you to then really start thinking about that. All of us have had a boss at some point, unless you started a business when you were 14 and you’ve only ever been your own boss. I want you to really think about who were the best people that you worked for. How would you describe them? How did you feel working for them? What did you think about them? What did they do or say on a regular basis that you found really powerful and helpful? Then, let’s look at that in terms of characteristics and behaviors because that gives you some breadcrumbs to follow, right?

I would certainly say that some of the best managers I’ve had in my life, people I’ve worked for, have been very smart. They have been very good listeners. They have been very willing and honest with me and challenged me, but not in a insulting, castigating, patronizing way, but in an invitation to be a better version of myself way. They have shared or even frankly deferred the praise for success, so they’re very good at just recognizing what other people do that lead to the success of a team or a business. They don’t take credit for other people’s work. They love to recognize other people’s success and honor them for it.

So when I look at what I love about people I’ve worked for, these are some of the things that stand out. So then, I think what is our best path forward is to decide, do I align with that, and do I want to start to figure out how to model more of that in my own leadership? And we all have pockets where we’re not where we want to be, and that’s okay. But, I think you have to first define what does that mean how to be a good boss. I just want to be a good boss.
I think a good boss is someone who characteristically has really great approach to working with people. I also think that I’ll have being a good boss who runs her own business is someone who builds a business that allows people to be successful so everybody knows who’s on first. Everybody knows how to win. Everybody has a clear path forward. It’s just you’re decisive. You don’t pit people against each other. You don’t leave things so vague that everybody else fights and argues over it. You don’t tolerate poor performance either from a production perspective or from a behavior perspective so much so that it affects other people and burdens them, right?

So, how to be a good boss is a pretty big question. I think that’s everything I teach you in the Founder’s Lab. I’m very confident if you follow through and you work with me in the Founder’s Lab, you’re going to have everything you need to know and do to be an amazing boss, leader, manager of your business. Because there’s foundational pieces that have to be in place. You have to have clear direction for the business, clear direction for every role. And then you have to have clear systems and processes that everybody follows so that everybody can feel successful. And that’s exactly what we put together for one another.

But, I also think one of the things that I tell my clients is I work with female entrepreneurs who are willing and interested in learning how to lead. If you don’t … I mean, you’re listening to this podcast so this doesn’t … You don’t qualify for this statement. Because if you don’t want to learn how to be a better boss, then that’s fine. But don’t sign up for stuff that’s going to help you be better at being a boss because you’re going to have to change. We’re not going to just blame employees all day for the problems, right?

So, the key in becoming a better leader, a better boss is your own insight. It’s your own growth. It’s investing in yourself. And what I love so much about what I get to do in the world is every single person who invests in themselves by working with me ends up better. Their business is better. They become stronger, even if it’s hard along the way, even if that growth can be painful. We all know growth can be. Can be tough. But on the other side of things is more insight, more knowledge, more growth, which of course is nice. We usually hit little nice plateaus in our growth trajectories where we feel really great. Then, we invite ourselves to grow some more.

But if you want to be a great boss, first define it. What’s your experience there? What do you know about being a great boss? What do you think about it? Who do you align with? What do you want to be more like? What do you want to lose, drop?

Then, you have to build the infrastructure underneath you and within your business that allows you to be that boss. Because if you’re so busy in production of your business, if you’re too busy swooping, and doing things, and being the one who always does it right, you’re not actually leading anything. You’re an employee in your company, and you’re working side by side with your team, which can be fine up until the point that you’re exhausted and you need to lift yourself up out of it, okay?

So, you can be an amazing boss. Anybody can learn how to lead a team. I really do believe that. But, you need tools and systems. You also mostly need to look at your mind and decide if that’s important. And if it is, what does it look like? All right? Thank you so much for tuning in today, and I’ll talk to you again next time.

Hey, don’t miss a thing. Make sure you join my community at krisplachy.com/connect. Once you join, you’ll get all the information on exclusive and private experiences that I’m offering to my clients. I can’t wait to see you there.

  Download the Transcript
Recommended Posts
How to Lead for Female EntrepreneursHow to Lead for Female Entrepreneurs