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How To Be A Great Boss

How To Be A Great Boss

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Let me suggest that best bosses have most of these traits in common:

  • They are not micromanagers: Great bosses hire people whom they trust, and then give those people the room to do their job right. Sure these bosses coach, but they don’t try and do the job themselves.
  • They have good manners: If we teach our kids that “please and thank you are the magic words,” we should expect no less of our bosses. The good boss knows this. The bad boss doesn’t. Having some manners shows respect and garners respect.
  • They treat employees like adults: A great boss understands that his employees are not children, but adults with lives, and priorities other than work sometimes. If Bill says he needs to come in at noon on Thursday, the good boss knows Bill probably has a pretty good reason.
  • They are fair: There are all sorts of different bad bosses, but one trait they seem to share is that they are unfair. They play favorites, they may have a whimsical decision making process, and they might have strange or unspoken priorities. The good boss on the other hand treats people equally to the extent possible and creates an environment where rules and polices make sense and are followed.
  • They also make exceptions: Ironically, while the great boss strives to create a uniform workplace, he or she also knows that exceptions to rules are sometimes needed. For instance, it may be that one month Jill needs to get all of the extra overtime hours due to her financial situation.
  • They are leaders: A boss is not supposed to be his employees’ best friend. The best bosses know this. Sure they are friendly, friends even, but they also have a vision for the business, sell people on that vision, and then lead them in that direction.
  • They don’t engage in petty office politics: Similarly, great bosses don’t gossip (mostly!) They do not pit employees against one another. They avoid taking credit for someone else’s work.
  • They listen: Bad bosses are bad listeners. Good bosses are good listeners. They also welcome good suggestions.
  • They create a nice place to work: The bottom line is that great bosses set the tone and culture of the businesses. If they are fun and reasonable and smart and reward people appropriately, the workplaces will be a good one. People will like working there.
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