October 1, 2008

Is Bosses Day appreciation or a reminder of necessary leadership skills?

Bosses Day falls on the 16th of October. This is often a gift giving time where subordinates supply managers, supervisors, and team leaders with gifts that reflect their respect or give a friendly chuckle. Many bosses will appreciate the gifts as something they will find useful, pertinent or as an award for a job well done from their team. Others may toss their gifts aside because they either don’t care for what was given to them or they don’t understand that the gift may represent an opportunity for their personal growth.

What can the laughter mean? Some gag gifts are a signal to the boss that their employees love them or that the team feels comfortable poking a little fun in the work environment. Whereas, other gags may be a sign that the employees resent or don’t respect the position the boss takes related to some parts of their business or job. Great bosses will take this as sign for a personal growth need and begin to look for ways to improve their leadership instead of getting angry with their team.

Where is the growth opportunity? The gift of books can show the boss that their team knows the boss well enough to understand their reading preferences. Or it could indicate the team feels the boss could use some growth in a certain area to better lead their team. Business books are typically work-related and relevant gifts for Bosses Day and favored for Christmas gift giving. These are often greatly appreciated by leadership. As a good boss: they read the books, learn something new, personally grow, and begin to display any relevant new skills.

All bosses should use this date as this time of year to reflect on their leadership style and skills. Then they should develop a plan for personal growth. It is also a good idea during the gift giving to reflect their appreciation and acknowledgement to their team for making the past year a successful one since the employees were instrumental to accomplishments.

Think about it – what does this day mean for you as a leader? What are some memorable gifts you have gotten (good and bad)? How do your employees show their appreciation towards you? How do you show your appreciation to your employees?

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