Let’s slightly divert to other aspects of my profession.
Now technically, clients are my bosses. Their wish is my command-type of thing but the diversity of the new generation taught us that customers aren’t always right, and so are bosses.
When is a boss a terrible boss?
Allow me to share these insight and try to take logical points from the article to maybe understand where each is coming from and where you stand.
Tough Boss or Bad Boss?
February 3, 2015
By Jack and Suzy Welch
Do tough bosses really get more out of their people? Of course they get short-term results, but do they really help a company win in the long run?
We’d say yes and yes! But how tough a boss seems may well depend on your own performance. There can be little debate about the fact that top performers with great results tend to worry and complain a lot less about tough bosses than those struggling to meet expectations. That may sound tough itself, but it’s reality.
Now, let’s talk about the meaning of tough. Without doubt, there are tough bosses who are nothing more than bullying, power-drunk jerks, and they’re brutal to work for. They callously push their people, take credit when things go right, point fingers when they don’t, and generally are very stingy with praise and rewards. They can also be moody, political, manipulative, secretive, outright mean, or all of the above. Of course, sometimes these tough bosses get good results. But it’s rarely for long. At any decent company, they are removed or they self-destruct, whichever comes first.
At the other of the spectrum, and equally as damaging to the business, are the “Is everybody happy?” bosses. Yes, they may be enjoyable to work for — getting paid was never so easy! — but their spinelessness typically translates into mediocre results. Why? At least three basic sins are at work:
· These “nice” bosses treat everyone with the same wimpiness
· They explain away misses without meting out consequences
· They change direction according to the needs and wishes of the last person in their office. In a word, they have no edge.
Somewhere between the two extremes, and probably closer to the hard end than the soft, are bosses who define the notion of tough the right way, and because of that manage to get strong, long-term performance from their people. It is not going too far to say that such bosses are actually the heroes of business, not the villains. They might not make everyone feel warm and fuzzy, but their good results create a healthy, fair work environment where people and the company prosper, where there is job security for employees who perform well, and value for shareholders. What more could you want?
To these types of bosses, tough means tough-minded. They set clear, challenging goals. They connect those goals with specific expectations. They conduct frequent, rigorous performance reviews. They reward results accordingly, with the most praise and the highest bonuses going to the most effective contributors and commensurate compensation levels distributed down the line, ending with nothing for nonstarters. They are relentlessly candid, letting everyone know where they stand and how the business is doing. Every single day, good tough bosses stretch people. They ask for a lot, and they expect to get it.
Does that make them hard to work for? Of course. But here’s where individual performance comes into play. If you’re up to the challenge, working for a tough boss can be incredibly energizing because you achieve in ways you never thought you could. However, if a tough boss raises the bar to a point where you are out of your league, then you’re likely to hate the experience. And if human nature is any guide, chances are you won’t blame yourself. You’ll blame the “tough” boss.
The point is: There are good tough bosses and bad ones, and which is which is often in the eye of the beholder. Again, we’re not talking about the egregious cases of jerk bosses who berate and belittle their people. Everyone hates them, and they deserve universal loathing.
We’re talking about bosses who operate in the middle ground — bosses who are tough but fair, push hard but reward in equal measure, and who give it to you straight.
Weak performers usually wish these bosses would go away. People who want to win seek them out.
Lately I’ve been walking into some places, mostly bars and it got me thinking…where the hell am I? Just a few years back whenever I go out, actually everytime I go out, I would meet people I know. This is because I had a good network of friends, or so I thought. Now, I feel like Captain America, man out of time. It’s now full of younger people and I mean young. Also before when I used to go out, the people I see throwing up were older guys, now it’s kids almost half my age but that’s beside my whole point.
Now that I got into hosting, I never thought that I could be timeless. I never thought I could cater to different ages and type of crowd. I was actually hesitant at first, hosting weddings and debuts terrified me. Before I get booked with other types of events, I immediately have to find out who I’m dealing with to set my own expectations and strategy of approach. In weddings though, you get a good range of all ages and it would really move out of your comfort zone. Speaking in front of old, middle age, teens and children is a complicated feeling. You have to keep in control of your actions and words for different age groups.
My story here was that just recently, I handled my second debut celebration since 6years ago. I just thought I’d wing it since I shouldnt care too much if these young men and women will understand what Im saying, or at least laught at my joke because we are from different generations. The most surprising thing happend and the experience blew me away. I would always perform at 100%, nothing less but I wasnt prepared for the reaction I got from the audience. I dont know if it was the alcohol or they’re just really friendly but by the end of the program, people were giving me compliments and fist-bumps. These coming from different age groups. What was more amazing is that most of the kind words came from men. Bragging aside, I have tremendous appeal usually to the old to senior women. The next few days shocked me even more. The debutant sent me a text message thanking me for hosting and told me she enjoyed it so much. Her exact words were “you totally killed it”. I’m twice her age but I do get what that meant (hah!). I was totally taken aback and had to register that for a moment. I thought I was old school, too old for the younger crowd. I realize now that old school with the right approach is really cool.
What I like most about my job as an emcee is that I learn a lot about myself everytime and this helps me to grow better. The amount of effort I put in always pay me back three-fold in experience.
So my conclusion is, we all know that age is only in the mind, sometimes in the body if you let it slip but you can be eternally young as long AS YOU WANT. You are the master of your ship so you steer wherever you wish to head onto.
For those who have experienced public speaking, have you ever shared the floor with a guest or a partner? This is nothing new to our world and you will always be asked to work with other people.
How do you know good or bad chemistry between co-hosts?
In my 4years as a professional host/emcee, I’ve had my share of the best, the worst, then there’ just the untrained. What I’ve realized is that not all people who can speak well are qualified to be a public speaker, moreover, they are not the best to co-host with.
Let me take you back a bit 4 years ago when I started on radio where I was trained by DJ Chloe (of Mellow 94.7) who I got to first partner with on hosting. Chloe was also the one who got me into radio and started me up with hosting and I cannot say it enough that I owe this career to her. Being a seasoned announcer, Dj Chloe is very well rounded. She is quick, witty, articulate and knows how to pace a sequence. She can balance her co-hosts energy with hers if her partner is low (which was usually my case when I open a program), she knows how to keep the energy up when it’s dragging, funny when it calls for and never leaves her partner hanging. I say this because I’ve experienced other co-hosts who can’t keep it tight and does their own thing.
A good partner always lets a co-host and audience in on what he/she’s onto. A good co-host is also conscious enough not to be dragged into anything and neutralizes any excessive emotional behavior on stage. To have good chemistry, one has to feel out the situation whether to lead or downplay. Some hosts that I’ve seen (not partnered with) sky rockets the energy up and if the partner can’t keep up, they’ll just keep going without any regard. What’s even worst is, when your co-host would disagree (indirectly) with you especially during an adlib, or bashes / insults the partner live. These should be managed tastefully and discussed offline. To make it work, partners should talk about what and what not to say. Ride with each other’s flow when you go off-script.
I have also been on stage with someone less experienced than me. My take is when I tend to overpower my co-host, I throw comments or open questions that will give him/her an opening to get him/her back on track. If your partner is keen, they’ll pick up from that and get with the flow.
Not looking like a team on stage is something you dont want people to see. Since all eyes and ears are on you, people will immediately notice that something is up. And for someone like me who is observant (so I can learn), I’ll sniff that one out in an instant.
My last partner on radio DJ Jaybee was a fun part of my life. We’d always laugh and have fun on air. What I say, she agrees to and vice versa, whatever we didn’t agree on, we took it tastefully and transform it in a smart banter. We give each other room to speak our mind and if one needs to stall (especially when we need to load a song on deck) we knew how to catch each other and pickup where we left off. It takes time to get to know your partner and maximize your similarities or work around the differences.
Chemistry sometimes come naturally, some take time, and some never happen. It is not something you can force. You may learn or develop the chemistry and it’s always a give and take situation.
So what are your other hosting issues? Let’s talk about it.
From an audience perspective, one can speculate and answer this immediately. The fine qualities of a host or an emcee and how the audience perceive us is just the tip of the iceberg.
Have you ever seen what goes on behind the stage or runway of a fashion show? Chaos! This applies to even the most organized events. For smaller events, there are very few talents to coordinate, props to handle, stage coordination and direction but still a lot of things may be unexpected during a live event or show. All this is basically what hosts have to deal with sometimes.
Directors or organizers request that all talents be present during orientation so everyone’s aligned and aware of movements, queues, changes and everything else that will go on. As THE HOST, our role is to be on top of everything so the audience can be walked through the program audibly, visually with the whole experience. We’re expected to bring energy since we have initial contact with the audience. We have the responsibility to get their attention and maintain it the entire time. Entertainment is a bonus, and definitley stretching adlibs are the clincher.
A great host is very fluid with sequences, mixing script and adlib with a dash of entertainment and A LOT of focus. Not everyone can wing it. It needs total awareness of the program, the premises, the pace and energy. You don’t just read off a script, you don’t just blabber what comes to mind. You also have to be tasteful and classy enough to throw a line that audience of different ages, race, nationality, religion and sex would be able to accept. Some events may have a specific target group which is easier but there are still some differences you have to consider. A great host also has to have that commanding presence, a confidence that will set him/her apart. A smile that is contageous and sincere goes a long way but you also have to have something more to give like smart or witty lines.
Movement is also a factor. Standing stiff and knowing where to put your hands also determine a confident host. If you’re the animated type of host, big movements are fine but this sometimes signify panic and tension. When your hands start expressing more than your words, it is distracting to an audience. Gliding comfortably around the stage when needed makes the audience’s visual dynamic. If you have a big stage, a great host might use it depending on the type of event he/she is doing. Managing a co-host on stage is a different story and will tackle this on my next blog.
A crowd as big as 1000 eyes are watching and a great host would be able to make the illusion that he/she is looking into each and every one of them. Connecting to everyone (verbally and emotionally) is a big responsibility but THAT is the main goal. In experience, a smaller crowd to address is more difficult because you have to manage your energy. The connection you make to a crowd of 20 needs a more powerful approach and you know within yourself that your main goal is to make a difference with everyone, and you would think it’s easy to attain?
Put yourself in our shoes for a moment…
A great host is confident but not arrogant. He/she should be comfortable and enjoys this job, otherwise you come off rather incencere.
After all this, a great host needs to conserve his energy still and manage not to lose his priced possesion for the job, the voice. After a good 3 hours (average), a host has spent their voice and energy. I have learned different remedies to make recovery faster and just like athletes, its science.
The Host or Emcee may not matter as much as their main acts of a show or event but you will notice the difference between the good, the great and the bad ones.
I wake up for this, looking forward to my next gig. Eagerly waiting to meet strangers that won’t remember me. Smiles that fade an hour after. I wear my best clothing that should’t outshine the celebrants or the main attraction. We are the first and last person you normally see see in these events.
What makes a great host? The one with heart.