Entrepreneurs Share 13 Management Lessons They Learned From The Best Bosses They’ve Had

What is one thing you’ve learned about management from the best boss you’ve had?

Giving management lessons

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.

1. Learn to Delegate

Many managers are afraid of delegation because they feel like they are the only one that can do a certain job well or may be afraid to delegate themselves out of a job. However, there is always work to be created. You cannot take your business to the next level without delegating. – Jared Atchison, WPForms

2. Lose the Ego

My best boss is someone who gives people opportunities, even if it means sharing his own power. He taught me to lead with confidence but lack ego. Being in charge doesn’t mean you have all the answers, and it doesn’t mean you are the best at everything. Be comfortable with this and focus on surrounding yourself with smart people that fill in your weaknesses. – Frances Dewing, Rubica Inc.

3. Get Your Hands Dirty

I had a boss who taught me to be willing to get my hands dirty. Just because you are a manager does not mean you’re not part of the team. If you see that your company would benefit from you jumping in and helping in any department, do it. Your team will respect you and things will get done, and it will keep you humble. – Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy

4. Listen and Adapt

I learned early on that you have to listen — to your employees, to your customers, and even to your competition. Charging ahead with your ears plugged will lead you to a dead end. Be willing to listen, learn and then adapt. You can’t run a business all by yourself, so be willing to learn from everyone around you. Only then can you move forward. – Colbey Pfund, LFNT Distribution

Business meeting

5. Give Out Criticism and Praise Equally

It’s important that employees be able to take criticism well to get better and grow, but they won’t be happy employees if they never receive any praise. A good boss always gives out criticism and praise equally. If an employee is lacking in one area, tell them, but also remind them where they’re doing a great job, too. – Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

6. Check In Regularly

Instead of just checking in when there’s a problem, check in all the time. This is especially important for remote companies. Because we don’t get to work together in person, we make sure to check in with all of our employees on a regular basis. We have a weekly meeting to update everyone and recognize good work from employees. This opens the doors for regular communication. – John Turner, SeedProd LLC

7. Adjust Your Management Style to Suit Your Team

One thing to learn about management is that you can’t expect all team members to adjust to your singular management style. Instead, it needs to be the other way around. You need to identify which employees need to be managed with the most appropriate strategy, and adjust your style accordingly. In this instance, you’re the one who needs to do the pivoting, not your workers. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

8. Know When It’s Time to Let Someone Go

I learned from my favorite boss that it’s next to impossible to hire the perfect person for each job. However, he told me that it is much more effective and important for your business to fire the people who aren’t good for the job. Knowing who to let go and when, in his eyes, was far more important than finding the right person to hire in the first place. After all, you can’t see into the future! – Bryce Welker, Crush The CPA Exam

9. Learn to Be Specific With Your Language

Good communication is the cornerstone of any great team, which is why one of my awesome bosses drilled into us “specificity of language.” When you’re able to choose the exact right words to convey the message and meaning behind what you want the other person to perceive, everything gets easier because there is understanding. – Monica Snyder, Birdsong

Managers analyzing spending report

10. Look at the Big Picture

Too often we get caught up in focusing on the small aspects of business, but do not forget to keep an eye on the big picture. If you look too much as the little things, you risk not making the progress you are capable of. – Adrien Schmidt, Bouquet.ai

11. Take Your Team on the Journey With You

For me, I spend almost every waking minute thinking — thinking about problems, solutions, alternatives, variables and beyond. One of the best bosses I had reminded me that not everyone else is spending as much time as me thinking about the same things, in the same depth. I’ve learned (and this is something I’m continually working on) to proactively bring others on the thought journey, together. – Arry Yu, Yellow Umbrella Ventures

12. Encourage Feedback

Inviting feedback from employees is a valuable tool I learned from my mentors. Managers who listen to the problems their employees face are better able to recognize issues and create solutions. If you do not encourage feedback, your employees will be less inclined to bring problems to your attention. Employees can also provide valuable tips on how to resolve the issues they bring to your attention. – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.

13. Don’t Micromanage

There is nothing more demoralizing for many employees than having a boss question their every decision. While it’s important to have a ramp-up period for new employees, once they understand how everything works, trust them to do their job. Employees will be much happier with the instilled trust and much likelier to stick around. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner