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Leadership & Strategy


Bosses don’t have to be their staff’s best friends

In trying to be a friend to each of his employees one business leader ultimately found it harder to have the difficult conversations when they did arise.

When building a new team there is often the natural inclination to be an employee’s friends. But many bosses struggle as the organisation expands and they need to establish a more overtly senior role.

John Armstrong, co-founder of North-East of England-based print specialists Custom Planet, commented: “I initially had the view that the happier people are, the better they will work – and I am still a subscriber of this theory. However, I definitely took it too far in terms of a ‘friendship’ approach.

“Over time I began to realise that it made things a lot more difficult to question an individual’s performance, encourage them to change or ask for more effort or working hours.”

Discover more about Custom Planet and its development by reading our longer feature.

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