06: Bosses and Boundaries

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What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word Boundaries?  Do you think of border walls and fences or about the last time you said yes when you really meant no? Boundaries can be difficult to define. They are, at their essence, anything that helps to differentiate you from someone else. It is a limit you set on what you will accept of another person’s words or actions.

Your boundaries can (and should) change over time.  They are different with different people in our lives and in different circumstances. As a Boss, strong clear boundaries are essential to set and reinforce. When you have a smaller close-knit team, setting those boundaries can be hard to do, and when you do, they can fall prey to a type of “boundary-creep”, where conflict is more likely to crop up.

In order to draw those boundaries clearly, you first need to know what boundaries are, and in order to lead effectively, you have to establish 5 key things. Today we discuss bossing and boundaries.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • What the four main types of Boundaries are;
    • Material
    • Physical
    • Mental
    • Emotional
  • What  ‘boundary-creep’ is and how it happens
  • How to recognize ‘boundary-creep’ before it leads to conflict
  • Why it can be harder to set boundaries with a smaller team
  • Boundaries are not built in a vacuum
    • A strong support network is needed
    • Reflecting on your boundaries should be done periodically
  • Why you should clearly define your expectations but leave room for personal ingenuity
  • Uncertainty or a lack of clarity around your expectations lead others to try to ‘mind read’ costing you time, money and energy
  • Intermittent reinforcement of your boundaries leads to being taken advantage of and makes it so others believe they are negotiable
  • As you grow your team, your boundaries (with your employees) will need to grow and change as well
  • Consequences are not positive or negative, they are the natural result of a behavior or a choice
  • Why keeping Mother Theresa (or someone you admire) in mind during difficult times where you need to draw firm boundaries can be helpful
  • What is ‘fair’ when it comes to your employees
  • Consequences are neutral, not positive or negative
  • Why rescuing people from natural consequences renders them powerless
  • What 5 boundaries should be set by every Boss
  • What the difference is between a functional and relational boundary
  • How to find the Sweet-Spot between meeting your employees’ needs and growing your business
  • Defined structures make boundaries easier to uphold
  • Why you should gripe up-line, never down-line
  • Why time is a critical part of setting boundaries


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“Boundaries” Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

“The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” Patrick Lencioni

Dialectical Behavior Therapy created by Dr. Marsha Linehan


“During the zombie apocalypse, you are going to want to follow Rick Grimes, not the Governor”

“Consequences give good barbs to fences”

“Personal ingenuity flourishes when there is a strong structure in place”

“Everything in moderation including moderation”

Show Intro music is Whispering Through by Asura


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