Is Your Boss Pushing You to Your Limit? It's Because He Cares. A good leader will demand excellence from you without breaking you -- and you'll grow from it.
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Helping someone truly transform takes a huge amount of effort from a teacher. Because of this, truly great teachers are unwilling to teach everyone, because you can't hope to reach everyone. Not everyone has the work ethic and hunger to deserve that type of effort and hard work. It takes an enormous amount of energy and personal sacrifice for a good leader to help someone transform themselves into something new.
I always tell people when they have a boss pushing them or hounding them to not worry -- that boss probably cares about you improving and progressing. You should start worrying when your boss stops. When someone stops putting an effort into your progress, they may have given up on you.
Related: The Fine Art of Being a Great Boss
I've seen this happen both ways while running my company. I've helped people transform who didn't have the will out of necessity, and I've helped people who did have the will and wanted it more than anything. It's a demanding process. In both cases, I think the individuals resented me to varying degrees, and that was okay. I wasn't in it for them to thank me. I was in it to create an end product. While they may have not have completely understood at first why I was doing what I was doing, in most cases, I believe they came to an appreciation of how I was helping them.
To me, there is nothing more extraordinary than a human being changed at his or her core. Most people go through life and never change fundamentally. They don't change -- because it's hard. Ninety-nine percent of people are driven by emotions, instincts, desires, lusts and hungers. An individual who wants to change must rise above, recognize himself or herself for who they are, make a conscious decision in every moment to face these things and choose to be different.
Making a choice to be different in every moment is the great challenge that anyone who has risen to the top of their field or had great success must recognize and conquer.
Here are five things a great boss who cares will do that you might resent him or her for:
1. A good leader will demand excellence.
For too many, mediocrity is okay. Most bosses or leaders will sell you short. They will say that's as good as they can do, because they don't care enough to demand your best. It's just easier to except you as you are. The boss who demands more of you is the boss who is doing you a favor. He's the boss who sees your potential and is willing to put the energy into you, to see you evolve.
2. A good leader will push you to the edge.
A great boss or leader will push you to the breaking point. You might think they are pushing you too far. However, if they really care about you and believe in you, they will push you past where you think you can be -- but not so far that you break. A great leader knows that it's at the edges where real progress is made. When you have gone further than you thought you could and get close to your breaking point, that's where greatness is discovered.
3. A good leader will tell you the truth.
Most people don't want to hear the truth. They are just fine where they are. They do not want to disrupt the status quo. People often ask me for advice on business. Most of the time, I decline. The reason is that most people don't want to hear the truth. Most people just want you to reassure them that what they are doing is good. The truth does not always reassure. Sometimes it can hit you hard, like a punch to the face. But the boss who is honest with you is the boss who will make you better.
4. A good leader will yell at you.
Sometimes leaders are tough -- even jerks -- but it's always for a valid reason. Do not sell yourself short by being lazy and not appreciating what they are trying to do for you. Sometimes to get your attention, a boss may yell. If that's what it takes to get you back on track, so be it. Would you rather they say something important in a way that is nice but doesn't get your attention -- and then you miss it?
5. A good leader will compliment you only when you deserve it.
A good boss is not there to hand out participation trophies. They want you to learn what it means to accomplish something and receive legitimate praise based on an actual accomplishment. It's a great feeling and way different than an empty pat on the back. If they praise you for something undeserving, they will gradually lose your respect. It's important in the process to not only to be fair with criticisms and challenges but also be fair with praise. A boss is there to measure your progress. The feedback they give will help you gauge progress and build confidence.
The next time your boss is pushing you hard and you don't understand why, just remember -- they might be trying to take you to a place you didn't think you were capable of reaching.