Getting the respect of your coworkers, leading your team, and meeting the demands of your company are all part of being the boss, but it's not always so easy. These four successful women share what they wish they knew before they became bosses.
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It's OK to get a little bossy Shabby Apple founder Athelia Wooley says she naturally had never been a bossy person and never wanted to be in charge. Although she found leading people difficult, Athelia says it's necessary. "It's really not fair to your employees or to the company to not do that. People need instruction, and it's OK to give it," she explains.
Value your employees Kristen Trattner, Nickel Diner co-owner, assumed everyone had the same work ethic, but soon realized that in a small business just one employee can make a difference in the operations. "If the dishwasher doesn't show up, who's the dishwasher?" she says. Kristen says she treats her employees like family, creating an environment where everyone can be proud of their work.
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Build your company together Save the Date owner Jennifer Gilbert says when she became a boss in her 20s, she feared she would get walked on if she was too nice, so she never thanked her employees. She then realized her employees showed up to work because they believed in her and were there to build something together. "I want the women that work for my company to all own parts of it, so that they have pride, they have ownership, and they are building something that they can believe in," explains Jennifer.
Serve your employees Kat Cole, president of Cinnabon, stresses the real leadership tactic is to serve others. She explains that to get people to follow you, you must first have their back. Kat says that over time, you may have to ask your employees to do things they might not want to do, but if you've been there for them, those tasks will get done smoothly. "It's about making people want to support you, because you have their back," Kat says. "You're not a leader anymore if no one's following."