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9 Truths Bosses Hide From Employees

These are the secret thoughts that run through every boss's mind.
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Being an effective boss means keeping your some of your thoughts and feelings to yourself rather than sharing them with employees. Here are nine common thoughts that even great bosses sometimes have, but that are best kept private:

1. "I get tired of solving your problems."

The details: "A big part of my job is listening to your problems and helping you come up with a solution. Sometimes, though, I really do wish you'd come up the solutions yourself rather than depend upon me to solve them for you.

2. "I don't make as much as you think."

The details: "You probably think that, as the boss, I must be rolling in dough.  However, while there are undoubtedly CEOs who make obscene amounts of money, I am not one of them. Truth be known, I'm struggling to pay my bills, just like you."

3. "Sometimes I wish I weren't the boss."

The details: "Yes, I worked hard and sacrificed to get into a position of power, but maybe I might have been happier if I had just remained an individual contributor.  I kinda liked getting things done on my own."

4. "I'm not always allowed to be candid."

The details: "I'd just as soon not have secrets that I have to keep from my employees.  However, the reality is that I have legal obligations and organizational commitments that don't allow me to tell you everything I know."

5. "I know when you're badmouthing me."

The details: "You may think your negative comments about me aren't going any further than the break room, but rest assured that at least one of your so-called 'friends' has given me the scuttlebutt."

6. "I'd rather take advice from an outsider."

The details: "I'm sure you'd rather I turned to you, my employees, for advice. However, consultants and salespeople offer me a different perspective, with added the advantage that I can tell them their idea is stupid and not have to deal with hurt feelings."

7. "I don't always know what I'm doing."

The details: "Managing people is harder than anything I've ever attempted. While I may look like I'm on top of the job, people are so unpredictable and there are so many variables that much of the time I'm making things up as I go along."

8. "I'd rather you just do as I say."

The details: "I realize that managing people effectively involves getting buy-in and reaching consensus.  Even so, there are times when I'd really rather you make things easier for me and just follow my damn orders."

9. "I want you to succeed for my own reasons."

The details: "I've made an investment in you as an employee in terms of my time, my effort and my company's money. It's therefore vastly in my own interest for you to be healthy, happy and productive, whether I truly care about you or not."

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IMAGE: Thomas Barwick/Getty
Last updated: Oct 14, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES

Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.




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