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Ever wonder what your vice president or even your manager is thinking as you pass his office each day?  Well, if he’s worth his salt, says founder A. Harrison Barnes, he’s likely multi-tasking the upcoming projects. Before you slide the mirror under his nose to be sure he’s breathing, keep these thoughts in mind:

  • He knows he’s at your mercy in many ways.  His success as an effective leader is based solely on the work completed by his employees.  Your career objectives are his career objectives.
  • He feels a sense of loyalty to his employees, but he also has to walk that fine line with management.  The really good managers, says the founder, are those who balance the two ends of the spectrum.  He has to show confident and authoritative leadership abilities but he also has to take a less aggressive stance with his own managers.
  • He’s also wondering who to delegate that big project to.  If he gives it to the bright star in his group, he runs the risk of having other employees resent him and even being accused of favoritism.  If he gives it to the one who’s not as detail oriented, he runs the risk of a shoddy project at its end or for that matter, he runs the possibility of the project not hitting its deadline or having to redirect his team’s efforts to ensure the project meets the expectations.
  • The majority of the time, he’s devising ways to keep layoffs from hitting his department.  He’s human and dreads having to cut anyone loose, especially when it’s not because of poor work habits, says A. Harrison Barnes.

Those company leaders who can keep perspective and incorporate these thought processes are usually the ones who find their careers more satisfying and they discover their employees are more loyal and even dedicated to their respective workloads.  Try this:  think back over the different jobs you’ve had – from your first boss as a grocery clerk to current day.  Odds are, you can likely categorize your supervisors into two columns – those with effective leadership skills and those who were present only in a physical sense.  Now that you’ve given that some thought, ask yourself with positions you were most happy in.  Aside from the expected frustrations, it’s likely you can pinpoint those jobs or careers that left you with a certain satisfaction.

For the most part, managers and supervisors want their employees to be content with their jobs. They know if an employee isn’t resentful or dissatisfied, he’s more likely to remain loyal and to provide a consistent workload.  “It really does come down to everyone contributing to a team effort”, says A. Harrison Barnes.  So next time you’re wondering if the boss is unplugged, you might be surprised to learn he’s anything but.  Could be he’s just brainstorming the next project with you as the team captain.

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