Managing Your Team and Leading by Example

Your team likely reveres and fears you in equal measure, Rebel boss. Keep the following three ideas in mind to dispel (just enough of) the fear, tipping the balance toward “all reverence, all the time.”

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You are quite comfortable operating outside the “law” of your office, whatever shape that takes: yelling for someone to bring you something, putting your feet on your desk, taking extra-long lunches. But as the boss you set the tone — so if you aren’t ready for your outlaw behavior to become the standard, modify it.

An easy way to bring out the best in your team members is to point out the skills they possess that you do not. For example, their ability to hold the line — without losing their tempers — with contentious clients, or to calm troubled waters when interdepartmental colleagues grumble. While neither the deed nor the gesture may be your first instinct, it’s worth the effort.

Rumor has it pirate ships used to fly flags with a skull and crossbones for two reasons: to alert enemy ships to their bad-ass ways and to give courage to that one young seasick homesick pirate. Reminding team members who waffle, waver, or whimper that they wouldn’t be working for you if they weren’t pirates too will do wonders for their morale.