How to Be a Hero to Your Employees (Part 2)


In response to some reader requests to elaborate on how to be a hero boss (not to mention I just wrote about running a company like a hero), I’ve decided to revisit the topic in order to dig deeper.

Unfortunately, many employees automatically stereotype their managers as the tough and mean boss figure, a thankless task master that abuses and pushes them. It doesn’t seem to matter if the facts don’t jibe with that worldview; if you’re the boss, our society has trained many people to view you with suspicion.

As a business leader, it’s up to you to not only direct employees to get the job done, but also to show them that “boss” doesn’t have to be a bad word.

Because you probably don’t get enough motivation and encouragement for being a boss, I’m here to provide it for you!

Give Yourself a Break

Being the boss is stressful. No matter how great your leadership is or how charismatic you are, every leader has moments of doubt, especially when making tough decisions that could affect your employees.

Yes, you have to watch over your company and your staff. But you need to be kind to yourself as well, otherwise you are no good to anyone. If you feel like you need to take a break, then do it.

The worst thing you can do is refuse to take time away from work. Research has proven that not using vacation time hurts your productivity and your health, among other detrimental effects. It also makes you grouchy, turning you into the mean boss people expect!

Bottom line: do not skip vacations, and when on vacation, put your devices away!

Be Transparent About Business Risks

You need to be fully aware of all the pitfalls and potential issues your business can experience, and you must communicate those risks truthfully to your employees. For example, do you have a high risk merchant account? Then chances are you’re dealing with some very volatile or risky sales on a daily basis.

In this situation, it’s fine for your employees to go through tough periods where they aren’t making huge profits for your business. Don’t be too hard on them—you should understand that high-risk sales lead to inconsistent profits. But if your employees are able to secure regular sales even in a volatile business, then take the time to congratulate them on their accomplishments.

Interact Regularly with Your Staff

A boss that never speaks to employees is a boss that doesn’t lead. But you owe them more than just a smile and a paycheck these days. Take time to learn their names, their likes and dislikes, and take an honest interest in what their workday is like.

The more relatable you are, the more likely they’ll stick around for the long term.

Listen to Your Staff

Keep your mind open for any suggestions and problems that your staff may bring up. If you’re interacting with them but never responding to them, then you’re wasting your time and theirs.

As I’ve said before, this goes beyond work. Don’t be afraid to pay attention to their lives beyond the office. If you know that an employee is having a tough time at home, don’t give them a hard time at work as well. If you show sympathy, odds are good they will want to work harder for you in the long run.

Lead by Example

We’ve all worked for a boss that talks a lot but never does anything. It’s the kind of boss that everyone loathes.

Make sure you can back up everything you say. For every motivational speech you give, give your staff a short example of how your suggestions can help them and relate it to something you’ve done. Don’t ever tell your staff to do something that you personally wouldn’t do.

Above all, make sure you’re regularly rolling up your sleeves and doing work with them in the trenches. That will go a million miles towards getting them to see you as more than a stereotype.

I hope this has given you some more insight into being a heroic leader at work. Thanks again for your thoughts, and keep them coming!

Featured Image Source: Pixabay

Author: Anthony Simeone

I'm a writer, speaker, and an advocate for everyday heroism. I have over two decades of experience in the practical application of literature, philosophy, psychology, and other disciplines. The culmination of my work is the Live the Hero program, a life philosophy that promotes personal development combined with service to others. Live the Hero combines the wisdom found in the arts and humanities with the latest discoveries related to research in heroism science and positive psychology. You can learn more at

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