B. Bosses – An Extract from The Alphabet Principle: Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader by Tarran Deane

B. Bosses

n. Bosses: individuals who are usually the immediate supervisors of a number of employees and have certain capacities and responsibilities to make decisions – the term itself is not a formal title and is sometimes used to refer to any higher-level employee in a company, including a supervisor, manager, director or the CEO.^1


A good boss makes his men realise they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could.

– Charles Erwin Wilson

Movies such as Horrible Bosses portray narcissistic, indulgent people using manipulation and intimidation to fill their own insecurities or workflow demands. Thank goodness I’ve never encountered one of those.

Brave Leaders

If you want to have an impact and get the job done, then you do have to make the tough calls, expect more from your people and rally the troops. Consultation does not abdicate decision-making. This in itself is enough to cause friction within even the healthiest workplaces! Navigating this tightrope can be tricky – and alienating.


Some of the Bosses I’ve had the privilege of working with demonstrated all or part of the following traits:


The Rule of 3-by-3

Compelling Bosses demonstrate a three-fold capability: Character, Commitment & Competency

  1. Character + Likeability + Lifestyle

In my first full-time job working at a regional branch of a major bank, I had three bosses. Boss A damaged me with inappropriate remarks in the stairwell and a hand that lingered too long. That was topped off when I saw him barefoot with hanging toenails walking through the local shopping centre. He had no self-respect and he’d shattered my perception of what a boss should be.

Boss B thought it was cool, last thing on a Friday, to have me put away a tray in the giant strong room, then close the door and spin the combo with no light on. I had no idea there was a light switch or a phone inside. I cried out and he laughed thinking it was the funniest joke.

And there was Boss C who was normal and not ‘out there’. He was reasonable and left you feeling ‘safe’ as you learned. He is one of the reasons I do what I do.

  1. Commitment + Networks + Legacy 

Going the extra mile is part and parcel of most jobs. In some countries, a maximum number of ‘ordinary hours’ you can work across a month is legislated to protect the rights of workers. In reality, life is a shifting canvas of trends and seasons. You’ll need to be here, be there, turn up and turn on to connect with people and nurture relationships.

  1. Competency + Financial Intelligence + Outcomes

Upskilling through formal and informal education, internal or external mentoring and coaching will prepare you to lead your team through different seasons. Love your stats, explore what they mean, quantify what you need and work the plan to achieve the outcomes that will move you closer to your goals.

There’s something compelling about a leader who is across the Rule of 3-by-3!


Imagine if your team and colleagues were all on the same page? Grab Your Copy of Tarran’s Book “The Alphabet Principle: Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader” When You Order it Here!



Typically, the ‘buck stops here’ with bosses. Whatever the title is on your payslip, the burden of leadership remains whether you are a supervisor, manager, pastor, doctor, builder, farmer, CEO, duty nurse, owner, teacher, principal or SME owner.

Learning how to maintain transparency and honouring commitments while zig-zagging between workflow, boundaries and the life outside is all part of the excitement. Engaging with a trusted colleague, industry mentor or external coach can go a long way to help you debrief, frame your thinking and correct your course when needed.


Spare a Thought for Your Boss

Bosses are people first and foremost. Until we’re ready to walk in their shoes, we should do everything we can to fulfill our responsibilities as a positive member of their team. Respect their role, make a point of getting to know them and be a proactive, positive resource for them.


Seek to Understand, Rather than Be Understood & Be a Good ‘Follower’

If you’re not gelling with your boss despite your best efforts, or if the nature of the work or the direction in which they are leading the business is unreasonable, then follow the existing policies and procedures to reconcile or leave. Take responsibility for You Inc. and move on.

Life’s too short.

By the same token, be patient, chat with a trusted friend or colleague and gain a little perspective before it goes too far.

The 2020 environment of rapid change, increasing use of AI and high-speed pressures on start-ups are placing real demands on founders and teams. If you have been used to working in mainstream environments or industries over the past 20-30 years you may come face to face with discomfort and demands for better performance and an innovative, driven approach to sales.


If You’re the Boss, Then Be a Good One

Authority used wrongly – You’re the boss so don’t lord it over people. It is not about control or intimidation. It should be about serving one another, in love, using every available attribute to make a difference on the planet.

The jobs we fill do not determine our worth. Be aware of finding the right balance between being task-focused and people-driven.

Authority used rightly You exercise consultation and inclusivity as appropriate. You demonstrate clear boundaries. You don’t shy away from the tough calls. While you ruffle some feathers, your workplace is the right place for you and if you have up-line support, then you feel safe to make the tough calls, knowing you are backed.

Role status – Your title and society status doesn’t guarantee popularity, loyalty or respect. In High Society, Grace Kelly’s last film in 1956 before becoming the Princess of Monaco, her character Tracy Samantha Lord endearingly, if somewhat naively, asks, ‘Everybody loves me, don’t they?’

Obviously, Tracy has not taken the time to consider how others see her beyond her socio-economic standing and family name. In your workplace, if you’re gaining your value from your title or perceived status, then it’s not sustainable. Like Tracy, you may need a few friends to challenge your awareness of self and others.

You will probably polarise your colleagues and team from time to time. That’s the nature of disruption and promoting accountability. It’s not unreasonable to want your colleagues to show up, turn on and do the work.


Imagine if your team and colleagues were all on the same page? Grab Your Copy of Tarran’s Book “The Alphabet Principle: Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader” When You Order it Here!


Care enough to confront – Have robust conversations with one another. Distinguish between attacks against people versus the pursuit of clarifying practices and processes before taking the criticism personally.

Not everyone will understand you – shocking, isn’t it? Well, it can be pretty crazy. Work with a mentor or a coach to keep a clear perspective and reveal any blind spots you may have.

Tough calls – As a boss, I’ve had to make decisions that not everyone agreed with and some that I wish I could have avoided. I’ve rolled out corporate objectives after rigorous debate behind closed doors with senior colleagues and I’ve challenged staff to grow and be accountable for their actions.

In one role, leading my region through redundancies, program closures and expansions, I leveraged my networks, worked with an executive coach, used creative problem-solving, extended reporting deadlines, challenged innuendo and gossip, had the courage of my convictions, stopped rescuing people, reassessed the culture of the organisation, reflected on what I’d learnt, what I’d contributed and those I admired, before giving myself permission to walk away.

That’s a tough call when you’re loyal.

If you’re finding the season you’re in as a leader a little tough, then put some external support strategies in place, test your communication strategies, tweak a few things and make sure you’re accountable to have a good work-life balance!

Leading Millennials & Centennials

If you’re leading a generation of Millennials and Centennials, then stay clear on your values and organisational alignment. Be consistent with your behavioural expectations. Use language and interactive training sessions that share the big ‘WHY’ and bring them on the journey with you. To be compelling is to captivate and promote unity and action across all generations within the workplace.

I’ve worked with some great bosses and some not so great. I’m a mum and a step-mum to four women. I am inspired by some of the bosses my girls have had and absolutely aghast at some of their others.

I have seen high school leavers burn out because of unrealistic expectations from a fast food restaurant that would have 18-year-olds wake at 3am to start at 4am without any training on how to adjust to shift work.

I’ve seen ‘pop-up’ shop owners in shopping malls refuse to provide 18-year-olds with a break during a 12-hour shift. The kids are fearful they won’t be offered further hours so they don’t make a fuss.

As parents, we want our children to have good boundaries and to develop their negotiation skills. We also want employers to uphold the laws of the land and honour their team members with appropriate care and mutual respect, not only because it is the law but because it is the right thing to do!

In 2016 and 2017, Mr Marsh pursued Australian company Bakers Delight to address their unfair Certified Agreement after his daughter brought to his attention the pay rates she and many under-18s were receiving.^2

The courage of Mr Marsh’s convictions and willingness to step into the debate with the company generated national media attention and public outcry which led to a report in The Age highlighting the company had agreed to remove the Certified Agreement.5


Imagine if your team and colleagues were all on the same page? Grab Your Copy of Tarran’s Book “The Alphabet Principle: Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader” When You Order it Here!


Fruits of the Spirit | A Counter-Cultural Way to Lead if You’re Combining Faith and Works

Written about 2000 years ago in the Letter to the Galatians, the country of modern-day Turkey, Paul the Apostle shares the Fruits of the Spirit. It’s a list of qualities not often associated with job descriptions of aspiring leaders and C-suite executives, yet they are the very same character and behavioural traits that enduring influencers embody.

The qualities are: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.^3 Which one could you demonstrate more of to be compelling and maintain long-term perspective?

  • Love – Look for the gold in every person. You’ve likely heard the verse at weddings.


  • Joy – Look for it in the pursuit of your long-term Don’t get hung up on the short-term problems.


  • Peace – This comes through the hope and trust that it is all going to turn out well.


  • Forbearance – Patiently hang in there with others and lean on your faith because heaven knows sometimes you just need an extra bit of help!


  • Kindness and Gentleness – Seek to understand one another with gentleness, sincere love and truthful speech.


  • Goodness – Boldly do good towards all people and have the faith-filled mindset that goodness follows you.


  • Faithfulness – A consistent belief and trust in God, during every season of your leadership, which inspires confidence and dependability in others.


  • Self-control – It’s about more than not losing your cool and avoiding conflict. Rather, it is to be caring enough to confront with diligence, virtue, knowledge, boundaries, endurance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.


Consider doing a weekend word study on each of the fruits. Go back to the original Greek and Hebrew meanings to explore their relevance to you and how you lead.


Wish your boss was different? Or your staff were better? Maybe, just maybe we could all be better versions of ourselves. Grab Your Copy of Tarran’s Book “The Alphabet Principle: Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader” When You Order it Here!


Your Boss Checklist


  • Communicate the ‘WHY’: use different mediums to reach the various players.
  • Care for your people: know what’s important to them, have regular check-ins, look for the opportunities to hear what’s working well and find out if they may be up against something unfamiliar. Believe the best in them.
  • Be accountable: get a coach! Pay for it yourself or seek input from your employer. Professional development may be a tax deduction on your annual income return so check with your accountant.
  • Stop solely relying on emails: guard against the overuse of technology. Pick up the phone and talk to people or see them face to face. Why? Your team members may feel more valued when you do.
  • Check your boundaries: switch off that technology at a set time each evening and don’t turn it on again until a pre-arranged time the next morning. If you’re on call, develop your own personal boundaries regarding accessibility. You do not want that message light flicking at you or your spouse during those midnight hours!
  • Make diary notes: backup what you say in phone calls by using a quick diary note. Use the voice memo function on your phone and email it to yourself or your PA. Don’t over complicate things.
  • Share the load: ask for help when you need it. Don’t be a martyr by taking it all on. Expect everyone to grow during a period of expansion.
  • Review your ‘fit’ for the role: are you growing with the position and the changing requirements?


Are you in agreement with the direction of the business? Are you role-modelling unity and inspiring your team moving forward? Are you able to have robust conversations and respectful debate without fear?


Be compelling: be someone they know, like and trust.


Imagine if your team and colleagues were all on the same page? Grab Your Copy of Tarran’s Book “The Alphabet Principle: Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader” When You Order it Here!


^1.Business Dictionary, boss, http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/boss.html

^2. Toscano, N. & Danckert, S., 1 January 2017, ‘Bakers Delight faces legal challenge over wages’, The Age, http://bit.ly/TAP-UnfairCertifiedAgreement

^3. New Testament Galatians 5:22–23 (NIV) Leading with Faith in Action. Combining Faith and Works







About the Author- Tarran Deane the Alphabet Principle Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader for Real Life at Work - Speaker, Keynote COnference Speaker, PCO Speaker, MICE Speaker, Bureau Speaker, Associations SpeakerTarran Deane is the Author of “The Alphabet Principle ~ Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader, for Real Life@Work”. With executive and leadership experience, covering more than 41,000 hours, across human services, workforce planning, associations and peak bodies, along with banking and tourism, Tarran has spoken at conferences and events in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the United States of America, on strategic and operational elements of Leadership, Communication, Change Management, Diversity, Inclusion and Engagements.

As a wife, mum & step-mum, Tarran loves the tapestry of family life and recharges by serving others, chilling out and racing her Ducati 800 Monster through the hills of Northern NSW.



How you lead people impacts them. Lead them well. Your Copy of Tarran’s Book “The Alphabet Principle: Your A-Z Guide to Being a Compelling Leader” When You Order it Here!

What I Learnt About Leadership & Life From a Special Effects Makeup Class

What I Learnt About Leadership From a Special Effects Makeup Class by Tarran Deane Speaker, Mentor, Executive Coach, Commentator on Life & Leadership. Visit www.tarrandeane.com

What I Learnt About Leadership from a Special Effects Makeup Class

Working remotely is part of my professional life. I catch lessons from the most interesting environments and observations.

Recently I had the opportunity to support our daughter during one of her assessments in her Special Effects Makeup Class in Brisbane. Ellie was studying the anthropology of Egyptian Makeup: it’s use and significance in the culture of the day.

I knew I had the capacity to be flexible with my work and support Elle, so we headed off to Brisbane with my laptop, all set for her class and me to work in the Student Lounge until I was needed. I was helping her (and soaking up my time with her, let’s face it!) and still getting traction on my focus areas. It got me thinking as I was surrounded by all these creative Millennials…

Leadership, Makeup Artists and the Makeup of Ancient Egyptians have a lot in common:

  1. Head First:

    We all need to be aware of why we are doing what we are doing AND the company we’re keeping when we set about our tasks. We all have ‘mini-empires’ set up between our ears, with thoughts threatening to rule and have dominion over moods and moments.

    Get your head in the game and be fully present in your role. Serve one another, see through myths (and there were a few of those in the prosthetics class next door) and pursue truth. Oh and just because you think Leadership should look or behave a certain way, think again. I’m always delightfully surprised when stereotypes are challenged.

  2. Be Aware of the Environment:

    Political, Spiritual & Economic: It matters and if it’s not influencing you, it will be influencing members of your team and your client base. Don’t be naive. Research it.

    The ancient Egyptians, male and female, believed the eye makeup they wore gave them healing powers and protected them.The same can be said about other peoples beliefs and their faith. Do a bit of reading on the different faiths; not to judge, but to learn. Be curious and seek to understand. Be prepared to confront your own bias – conscious or unconscious and reflect on what has influenced your opinions to date. Are they consciously yours or a lazy mirror of someone else’s?

  3. Skin in the Game:

    Be invested. Be prepared for people to get to know you. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into the makeup chair, sitting on the high cushioned seat with the bandanna holding my long blonde hair back. My face was being examined. Skin tone, variations, patterns. It’s the same in leadership if you are prepared to be helped and supported you must be willing to take the scrutiny and feedback.People will typically look at your appearance. Your face, your eyes, your mouth. Your gestures, your movements, your hair. Are you attentive, kind, considered?

    Perceptions are being formed in nano seconds like that looping sound track in that retail store right near the food court at the local shopping centre.

  4. Raw Materials:

    Know your tools. Ellie had her range of brushes and palettes, mixing trays, combs, sponges and equipment that put her at ease so she could work through the project at hand. The Ancient Egyptians used a range of local supplies to support their efforts including malachite and galena. While the ingredients formed the khol that lined the eyes, many substances were derived from lead and provided resistance to eye infections cause from local bacteria.Where are you getting your materials from? Are they healthy for you and your team to be working with? Do you have the latest MDSS – Material Data Safety Sheets?

    by @tarrandeane #leadership #speaker

  5. Study to be Your Best:

    You can be better or be mediocre. As I worked on my laptop at the National Academy of Beauty, the students were all in prepping for the practical session by researching and confirming their knowledge of the history of the Egyptian makeup, its’ history and application.In your workplace, make a point of discovering and documenting the history. You can download the Pinterest App, scroll through Snapchat and Instagram threads, but if all you are doing is glancing and NOT studying, your skill set won’t be enhanced.

    Organisational story-telling AND the real facts – warts and all, empower individuals to deal with the real truth and carry out their work with full transparency.

    Decide: Look at the methodology of people you admire. What do you see about their character and capability, their talent and their regard for others by @tarrandeane #leadership #speaker

  6. Practice Your Skills with Different Models:

    No two workplaces or people will be the same. Be gracious, study the individuals, ask questions, build rapport, know what is shaping appearances and behaviours.As an educator of more than 20 years I know how deceptive and risky it can be to find your delivery-style groove, a treat every audience the same way, without taking into account the different learning styles people have.

    Take the images below of me with the black wig on. Some of you absolutely love it; others loathe it. Some see the eye-makeup and totally miss the deeper story or possibly think this is REALLY how I dress up for work.


  7. Review the Results and Leverage Them:

    When Ellie finished my special effects makeup she was content but not satisfied, always ready to improve. I like that in my team – that sense of continuous quality improvement, without being paralysed by perfection. Ellie’s teacher assessed, thought the eyes were brilliant, base blending was good and the photograph was taken with the accompanying black wig a’la Cleopatra-esque.

    I liked what I saw in my daughter, this creative Millennial that is forging her own path.

    The culture of their workplace was abuzz with banter over in one corner, quiet concentration in another. The natural light streaming in from a Brisbane winter 23 floors above ground was calming and gorgeous. This team of young professional makeup artists were given the opportunity to serve, nurture, lead, hone their craft, work with others and be enterprising. It felt good to be amongst them, this cohort. I am excited for them.

    Here’s How I Leveraged the Makeup, the Artistry and the History of the Egyptians and you can too in your workplace
  • Applied various filters directly in the photo gallery. Reality can be harsh, that’s a fact. Stark highshadow is just that – stark!
  • Used various photo editing apps on my iPhone including: Canva, AdobeSpark and RIPL
  • Once back in the office, I turned on the tripod lighting and took a range of stills and video that I can now splice away and insert to my hearts content
  • Created thumbnail templates, website images, quotes, and Social posts.
  • Wrote this Blog
  • And, spent time with my daughter. Now that was priceless.


And Now with a little text on the image courtesy of RIPL Pro by Tarran Deane BLOG What I Learnt About Leadership From a Special Effects Makeup Class by Tarran Deane Speaker, Mentor, Executive Coach, Commentator on Life & Leadership. Visit www.tarrandeane.com











So, next time you’re working remotely, take a look around and consider:

  1. Go in Head First
  2. Be Aware of the Environment
  3. Put Some Skin in the Game
  4. Check Out the Raw Materials
  5. Study to Be Your Best
  6. Practice Your Skills With Different Models
  7. Review the Results and Leverage Them

Now, all you have to do is Decide and Execute!




Tarran Deane is the CEO of Corporate Cinderella Leadership Development Company. Wife, Mum and Step Mum to four daughters, Tarran is a regular Commentator on life and leadership.

Consulting across diverse industries and speaking in Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Auckland, Phoenix and Orlando, Tarran has presented to more than 36,000 audience members and been featured in numerous articles, blogs, podcasts and magazines

From fleeing Victoria Bus Station in London as a 17 year old, at the height of the IRA bomb raids, to walking the runway as a National Finalist in the Face of Australis, to stepping up into key influential roles in Australia’s Not for Profit sector, and now running alongside leaders from diverse industries including finance, engineering, mining, health, ministry, associations, government, private enterprise, retail, hospitality and tourism, this woman is adept at braking under speed, cornering safely and doing what she can to help others live life by design, on purpose and full throttle, so no one gets left behind.

Contact Tarran Direct on +61 417 654305 for

  • Media Enquiries or email
  • Speaking Enquiries or email
  • Mentoring Enquiries or email
  • Consulting Enquiries or email





S01.E04 Real Conversations ~ The Awesome Show #LeadershipPodcast with Tarran Deane & Russell Pearson

The Awesome Show Podcast S01.Episode 04: real conversations, confrontation & other awkward moments

Ep 04 Season 001 of The Awesome Show Podcast with Tarran Deane and Russell Pearson Subscribe at www.theawesomeshow.com.au


In this episode Tarran and Russell discuss Real Conversations, Confrontation & Other Awkward Moments

Leadership is not always the glamorous soapbox position that many believe it is. We know there’s not always a cheering crowd of supporters.

From time to time, it’s necessary to have often difficult, robust and sometimes confronting conversations with those we’re working with, in all areas of life.

This episode we review the different obstacles and pitfalls that you may find in your leadership conversations and discuss strategies for getting the very best results from your communication.

This episode, like every episode of the Awesome Show, captures the warmth, banter and straight forward conversation shared by Tarran and Russell as they draw on their combined skills of the executive and entrepreneur. It’s jam packed with insights for current and emerging leaders!


PLAY >>> Catch this BONUS End of Season Episode right HERE

READ >>> The Transcription PDF [coming soon]

SUBSCRIBE >>> www.theawesomeshow.com.au to future episodes!

TELL US >>> Join us on your favourite social media channel and tell us your key takeaways from this episode! Be sure to use the #LeadershipPodcast #theawesomeshow hashtags too!

Join us >>> for a practical look at leadership, resources that we’ve found helpful and have your questions answered on…The Awesome Show!


We’d love to know your thoughts and experience!



ABOUT THE CO-HOSTS: Tarran Deane & Russell Pearson

Tarran and Russell met during an International Leadership Institute in Arizona, during November 2014. They were representing Professional Speakers Australia in volunteer Leadership positions in Queensland and Victoria. Both flat out with work, and loving their spouses and kiddywinks, Tarran and Russell weren’t even sure if they’d like each other! Then they met and a madcap, crazy brother-sister relationship emerged. They came back from the United States with some great ideas, purposefully kept in touch, and launched The Awesome Show as a Pilot Podcast Season for Emerging Leaders.

Since launching the Program and partnering together they’ve both enjoyed a great sense of community, strengthened the bonds between their respective PSA states, grown their businesses, spent time with each other’s family and reached more Leaders together!

Now that’s simply awesome!

Tarran Deane: Speaks and Consults to Executives and Senior Leaders on Change, Connection & Communication to Drive Results from Brisbane – Gold Coast Australia

Email Tarran: ceo@tarrandeane.com

Russell Pearson: Speaks and Consults to Companies and Organisation on Brand Design and Execution from Melbourne Victoria

Email Russell: russell@russellpearson.com.au