I’ve been giving some thought to the personal qualities of the many bosses I’ve worked for, going back to high school and extending to the present day. A handful stand out as being especially good, and I’ve come to realize that they shared a lot of positive characteristics. Here goes:
1. They all were very hard workers. They didn’t preach a work ethic; they exemplified it.
2. Interestingly, not one was charismatic or dazzling in terms of personality. And yet, they inspired others and led effectively in their own ways.
3. They were very smart and good at what they did, whether it was managing a retail store staff, writing a complex legal brief, or designing a new curriculum.
4. They earned respect quietly, expressed appreciation when it was merited, and brought out your best. A word of praise could make my day, because I knew it was sincere and meaningful.
5. They gave you room to be yourself, quirks and all, instead of insisting that you emulate them.
6. They didn’t bully or mistreat people. Instead, they treated everyone with respect and dignity.
7. There was no task beneath them. No princes or princesses. They’d jump in and do the same work you were doing if it needed to get done.
8. They arrived at difficult decisions fairly and without hidden agendas.
9. They were trustworthy. Their words counted for something.
I’m not suggesting that these should be the universal factors for what makes a great boss. We all have our preferences, and people may have honest differences over what’s important.
Nevertheless, I think this is a pretty good list, and I’m betting that many readers will nod their heads in agreement.
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