Leadership is a difficult task. People like decisive leaders who
project confidence. You notice that I didn’t mention that people like
leaders who are correct in their decisions. I remember reading some
article that said that given the choice between a leader who makes quick
and clear decisions that are eventually wrong and one who is more
considered and nebulous but often right, most subordinates would prefer
the former. Isn’t that crazy? Interestingly enough, that thesis was
followed up with a bigger national study on November 8th of
last year, in which the sample group chose a leader that is confidently
wrong all the time over one that is more considered and capable of
finding the right answer.
In our story, the boss obviously feels the pressure of leadership so
strongly because he takes it very seriously and tries to make the right
decision for the people who work under him. That’s noble. I, on the
other hand, have trouble being a leader because I’m such a sarcastic
asshole. When I see the doe-eyed looks of those who want my help, it’s
difficult to avoid not messing with them. If I were in charge of
anything that mattered, it would be a shameful disaster.
As a result of this dilemma, I’m always reading about what would make
the most successful leader. So, I thought I would share some leadership
tips that will ensure your glorious reign as the boss:
- Know thyself. I have a bookmark I got at some
bookstore (RIP Borders) that tells me Socrates said that, and that ole
hemlock drinker couldn’t be more right. If you know what you can and
can’t do, you can hire based on that. I can’t do anything useful. I can take credit for anything useful.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. Yeah, “touch
base” or whatever you call it a lot during projects, but remember there
are other ways to communicate beside email and instant messenger. Tying
your employees to their chairs or slashing their tires so they can’t
leave sends a real clear message. Real clear.
- Always have a backup Sometimes things go awry. Hard
drives crash, employees escape. For those moments, you should always
have a golden parachute ready. Keep an audio recorder in your pocket at
all times and learn how to use GarageBand or Audacity for editing. It’s
like your car’s GPS: if you record enough parts of words, you can make
anyone say anything. Oh, what an incriminating statement, Janine!
Trivia: In the 19th century, the initial
leadership of the Hobarken Herald was split amongst family members.
What followed was a consolidation of power that made the end of The Godfather look like that video where Charlie bit the kid’s finger.