"Demanding" and "inflexible" probably aren't leadership qualities you look for in an ideal boss, but a tough leader is often the driving force behind a successful career. Tough bosses challenge you to expand your skill set and perform at the highest level, providing accelerated work experience. Before you bail on a difficult job, consider whether you're dealing with an incompetent boss or someone who uses assertiveness to produce the best results.
1. Thick Skin
While workplace bullies target specific people, tough bosses have high expectations and zero in on anyone who falls short. They want employees to be productive thinkers and problem solvers who can make good decisions without being coddled. Confronting criticism on a regular basis helps you separate the constructive advice from the harsh delivery, making it easier to listen without viewing every conversation as a personal attack.
2. Work Experience
Bosses with high standards force you to expand your capacity for growth and learning. Instead of backing down from new challenges, you're driven to perform at higher levels, make fewer mistakes and earn respect from your boss. Tough environments can also refine your work experience, because the ever-present threat of failure motivates you to become an expert at your job.
Tough bosses don't hesitate to point out mistakes and bad ideas, so you know you're on the right track when you earn rare praise. Working with a highly intelligent, analytical boss also teaches you to evaluate problems from multiple angles, honing your ability to produce effective solutions.
4. Competitive Value
Work experience is difficult for both employers and professionals to measure, especially when comparing job candidates from different industries and environments. Notoriously demanding bosses frequently have a reputation for molding exceptional employees who can handle any obstacle. Excelling in these tough positions sends the message to colleagues and recruiters that you're a valuable asset.
5. Work Ethic
Building strong work habits can influence the pace of your career and help you graduate to higher administrative roles. Working one-on-one with influential bosses gives you countless opportunities to observe how they manage, recruit, set goals and carry out objectives. Pay attention to productivity and management techniques that work for your boss, and integrate them into your own routine to develop leadership qualities that are important to your employer.
6. Professional Growth
When recommending employees for higher positions or special projects, it's common for tough bosses to promote workers they personally trained to be the best. They understand the power of good and bad recommendations, making them less likely to stake their reputations on professionals with questionable work experience. While incompetent leaders try to prevent good workers from moving on, results-driven managers position top employees where they can be most productive.
Many tough leaders have the track record to back up their demanding behavior, so focus on the tremendous work experience you can gain by trusting in their guidance. When you finally surpass a boss's impossible standards, you become a knowledgeable, resourceful worker who consistently performs at the top of your game.
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