Way back in 1980 we were treated to an inside peek of what it was like to be an employee with a crappy boss! Dolly Parton, LIly Tomlin and Jane Fond splashed across the screen in “9 to 5”, and created what might be the greatest “I hate my job, my boss and my life” anthem ever! While most of us can identify with having a boss who is worthless, have you ever stopped to wonder if maybe that boss is, well, YOU?

Take a minute to look below at the lyrics to the theme song to the movie:

“Well, I tumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen, Pour myself a cup of ambition!
Yawn and stretch and try to come to life.
Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumping, Out on the street, the traffic starts jumping,
With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5,
Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living, Barely getting by, it’s all taking and no giving.
They just use your mind, and they never give you credit, It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it!
Working 5 to 9, you’ve got passion and a vision, ‘Cause it’s hustlin’ time, a whole new way to make a livin’!
Gonna change your life, do somethin’ that gives it meanin’, With a website that is worthy of your dreamin’!
Well you got dreams and you know they matter, Be your own boss, climb your own ladder!
That moment’s getting closer by the day, And you’re in the same boat with a lotta your friends,
Launching ideas you all believe in, The tide’s gonna turn, and it’s all gonna roll your way!
Working 5 to 9, making something of your own now, And it feels so fine to build a business from your know-how!
Gonna move ahead, and there’s nothing that you can’t do, When you listen to that little voice inside you!
Yeah, 5 to 9 you’ve got passion and a vision, ‘Cause it’s hustlin’ time, a whole new way to make a livin’!
Gonna change your life, do somethin’ that gives it meanin’, With a website that is worthy of your dreaming!
5 to 9, you keep working, working, working, Working 5 to 9, ’til your dreams, come true!
Working 5 to 9, you keep dreaming, dreaming, dreaming, 5 to 9, 5 to 9, you can do it!”

So how do you stack up as a leader, as a boss? Could this song, and the following things in it describe your leadership?

  1. Is it all “Taking and No Giving”? Do your team members see you as someone who never brings anything to the table that benefits them? Are you the kind of leader who takes and takes and takes, and yet you never pour back into their needs? SOLUTION: Would it hurt to say thank you, bring in a box of donuts or invest in a new office chair for a team member? Do something kind, intentional or positive for a team member today!
  2. Are you guilty of “They Just Use Your Mind, and They Never Give You Credit” behavior? We all understand that for most organizations or businesses to function well, there needs to be an understood and effective form of leadership. When everything is up for a vote, then chaos and dissension are usually the end result. That doesn’t excuse the leader who wants the team to work and create, while the leader takes all of the credit. SOLUTION: Look for creative ways to recognize and reward team members for their input, for their wins and even for their individual contributions to the overall team and mission. Write a note, recognize them individually in a meeting or brag on them on social media. It doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming to show a little appreciation!
  3. Do you encourage those you lead to “Launch Ideas You All Believe In”, and “Listen to That Little Voice Inside You”? Leadership is first and foremost about RELATIONSHIPS. How are you developing the people you lead in your relationship with them? SOLUTION: Schedule an “informal” meeting with each of your direct report team members (on your calendar/task list, not theirs), and use that time exclusively to ask questions about what they think is working, and what they would like to change or improve. You’ll be amazed at some of the incredible ideas they come up with!
  4. Will you be the boss that helps them to see that they can “Change Your Life, Do Somethin’ That Gives It Meanin'”? Good leaders always make Purpose and Passion the driving forces behind their own decisions and actions. GREAT LEADERS help their team members discover and act upon their own Purpose and Passion! The reality is that nearly everyone does have their own “passion and a vision”. The question is, are you the kind of boss that has put in the work to discover those, and help them discover them for themselves? SOLUTION: Ask simple questions like “What do you love most about what we do? Why? A year from now, what would make you still loving to come to work here?”

I’m guessing the times where employees kidnap their boss, chain them up and take over the company are pretty rare! (Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go watch the movie!) However, I believe it’s very common for bosses to “chain themselves up” to a work environment where they don’t put in the work it takes to invest in open, reciprocal relationships with team members. Make building an open and safe work environment a high priority. Not only will it make those “9 to 5” days pass a lot faster, they will be more enjoyable, more production and more valuable for everyone on the team!