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Maxine Laceby

What Does “Bossing It” Really Mean? (And Why Would You Want To?)

What does it mean when people say you're 'bossing it'? And is it really such a good thing? CEO Maxine shares her thoughts.

February 12, 2021

Photo of Maxine, Margot and Darcy standing around a screen in their home office

February 12, 2021

Ok, what does “bossing it” mean?

The Oxford Dictionary defines 'Boss' as: “the person who is in charge of an organisation”.

The Cambridge Dictionary adds: “and tells others what to do”.

And the Urban Dictionary states: “A person who knows what he or she wants, knows how to get what he wants, and gets it when he wants. He or she lives by his or her own code and does not care about what others think.”

In my opinion, the above is not only scary but also dictatorial; it defines a strict “you do, and I tell you what to do. I am in charge of you”.

I personally hate the whole 'bossing it' thing. As the business owner, I think we are a team working together in the same direction. The team makes the business function to its full capability from ensuring the consumer is catered for to meeting budgets and KPIs. I aim to never 'boss it" - instead, my commitment is to work collectively with the team to ensure all aspects are considered, including their wellbeing. I take a human-centred approach; we are all 'only human' after all! I also practice the person-centred approach, which means recognising every team member is different and has different needs and desires.

What does this mean to me? It means that every team member is treated with respect, given clear direction, and made to feel an integral part of the team. And beyond all, it means that my commitment to each and every team member is to remember they are all human, and humans are not perfect, and that's ok!

When I launched Absolute Collagen, I made it my mission to ensure every customer and team member is treated with my power of S.I.R. - which means every customer and team member is made to feel Safe, Important and Respected.

I have a duty to ensure all who work within the Absolute Collagen team are offered the best opportunities and trained to the highest standards. I say 'offered the best opportunities' as, if I genuinely operate from a person-centred approach, I have to be mindful of those team members that are happy with their lot. Some people are comfortable doing what they do day in and day out, and not everyone desires to climb the ladder. As long as another team member isn't carrying the load and the business functions to its best ability, what right do I have other than to offer? Nobody is under any obligation to say yes, and it's important to remember that.

When I ask the team how they are, I really do want to know how they are feeling, how they are coping and what, if anything, I can do. I also remind them they are only human and it's ok to experience all the traits a human often feels - worried, scared, frightened, frustrated and lonely, to mention a few, especially in today's pandemic. Once I have listened, I then have a duty of care to do my utmost best to ensure their needs are met to the best of my ability.

I can meet their practical needs by providing a desk, a chair, a laptop, a monitor, lighting, etc. And there are things I can encourage them to do within the working day - move from their desks, go for a walk, go for a run, book in with the personal trainer I have employed for them.

I can encourage them to chat with other team members, not just about work, but to pick up the phone and ask how someone's weekend was. We are not robots, and all need social contact. My team is committed to AC and to me because I look after them and I look out for them. I truly believe you get back what you give.

Some will find working from home more challenging than others, some have less space than others, and some are also trying to teach their children from home. I encourage you to listen and consider every team member's situation.

Whilst I can't teach the children or build them an extra room, I can listen, and I can do my utmost to ensure I see things from their perspective: theirs, not mine, offering the reassurance that I have taken time out, they have been heard, and it's ok to be human!

So for me, 'bossing it' will never be acceptable. After all, it’s certainly not a way to grow and encourage a happy, committed, capable team that look out for you as much as you look out for them, and it's certainly not the AC way.