In the mist of another hectic week, I found a little time to do that one thing I believe we all should do more of… read. While surfing my RSS feeds, I came across a short article written by Jeff Haden. Jeff is a ghostwriter for some of the smartest business leaders in the country, and he wrote a great top ten list that expresses the thoughts I have accumulated since opening my first business in 1999. After reading his list, I sat in awe, reflecting that other business owners might have the same thoughts I do… I’m not alone! Below is my personal take on his list To see Jeff’s article in its entirety, click here –

11 Things I Wish My Employees Knew
1. I care about whether you like me. It’s hard for me to be “one of the guys,” but I really want to. I’m sure most people don’t want to “hang out” with their boss after hours, but I would like to… I count you as my friends.

2. I don’t think I know everything. Far from it. As a matter of fact, I love hiring smart people. Not only does it make my job as a business owner easier, I really like to be around people who are “thinkers” and can talk about more than the latest gossip.

3. I think it’s great when you’re having fun. Don’t stop on my account. I love to see people laughing, goofing off and having a fun time at work. It makes me feel like I have employees who are more than robots and feel comfortable being themselves.

4. I want to pay you more. I know you work hard and I want to reward you for it. As the business grows, please understand that I will pay you more… in benefits and salary. My goal isn’t to be uber rich and I want to have all my employees share in the success of the business… I’m not greedy.

5. I want you to work here forever. It’s unrealistic I know, but I do. When people leave, it hurts me. I have tried to create a “family” and when a person leaves I take it personally… even though I might not show it.

6. When you leave, it’s ok. Having said what I did above, you don’t owe me anything. Yes it hurts, but in the hurt kinda way when your daughter gets married or your son leaves for college. You are proud that they are moving on and sad, all at the same time.

7. Selling isn’t easy. When I sell a client, we don’t always know what we are getting into. Sometimes our clients suck… please understand that I know that. Other times we land clients that I know are going to be bad; I don’t say it aloud, but I’m taking them on to make payroll and keep the lights on. Thank you for doing your best with the good and the bad ones.

8. I love it when you take control. I have better things to do than your job and to worry about if you are doing a good job. I hire people to do the job they can do for the company, not to fulfill a job description written on a piece of paper. I want you to own your position and make it better.

9. I notice when others aren’t pulling their weight. I’m not blind; I can see when members of the team are not doing their jobs. And it’s not that I am not doing anything about it… I’m just not broadcasting it to everyone. I believe in giving everyone many chances to do their best… Someday you may need that same empathy.

10. There are some things I just can’t tell you. I hate the old fatherly adage, “because I said so,” but sometimes I either can’t or don’t have time to explain all my actions. When that happens, don’t think it is because I don’t trust you, just know that I believe I am doing what I think is best for you and the company.

11. I worry all the time. I love the fact that my employees can leave work and forget about it… but I can’t and don’t. I want everyone on staff outside of work time to forget about deadlines, meetings and their to do list… use non work time to recharge your battery and have a life… and leave the worrying to me.