How Do I Start Being the Boss?

Is this a familiar scenario?  You’ve been working your business steadily with a couple of people you can count on.  While they are technically your employees, you share everything: office chat, responsibilities, client lists and projects.  The business has gotten larger, and it’s now time to transition from chummy employer to effective manager and boss.  If you’re stuck on how to do this without losing your employees, this Joanna L. Krotz article on Business on Main will help.  She offers 12 steps you can take to make the transition an easy one.  Some steps include:

Delegate and let go. You’ll have to give some of the day-to-day tasks to your employees, so that you can focus on business building activities and management.  Part of delegating is letting go.  You give the employees the tasks and back up so they can do it to the best of their ability in their style.  Those last two words are key, “their style.”  This is not the time for your control freak side to come out and criticize their use of blue Post-It notes instead of green or grill them on why they prefer to write up a report on their own vs. checking with you every step of the way.  Giving your employees a sense of empowerment will help them work harder and not resent you.

Choose the tasks you’ll hand over wisely. Make sure you hand out work that is meaningful rather than something you just don’t want to do, like stop on the way for coffee every morning or order lunch.  🙂

Never criticize in public.  If an employee messed up, one of the worst things you can do is berate them in public.  Keep this in mind, especially if you consider your employee a friend or close acquaintance from working closely before your official transition to boss.  Now that you’re in charge, what used to seem like harmless teasing could be taken to heart negatively.  As Krotz points out, “Offer specific, positive ways to correct problems rather than ticking off disappointments.”  Make sure you back up any criticisms with specific examples and include suggestions for how those criticisms can be turned around.  The goal is to leave the employee feeling empowered enough to change his or her behavior rather than so down that the behavior doesn’t improve.

Continue reading more tips on becoming the boss at Business on Main.  Have you had to transition to boss in your company?  What did you do to make sure it happened as smoothly as possible?  Share your thoughts in the comments.

Disclaimer: My blog is a part of an online influencer network for Business on Main. I receive incentives to share my views on a monthly basis.  The opinions, however, are all mine. :-)

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog,

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