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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What Makes a Boss Great?

Being a boss is hard. People don't naturally wish to have one. And not everyone aspires to be one. But most people are anxious to follow a good leader, and most organizations live and die on the quality of the leaders who run them. Bosses are often the primary reason for people either loving or leaving their jobs. If you are one of the lucky employees who has a great boss, don’t take that relationship for granted.

Here’s what makes a boss great:

Set Clear Expectations: A great boss sits down with a new employee right from the beginning and identifies priorities. They discuss the performance review, and how they define “excellent performance.” They hold discussions regularly in regards to expectations from that point on.

Passionate: Few things are more demotivating than a boss who is bored with his or her life and job. If the boss doesn’t care, why should anybody else? Unforgettable bosses are passionate about what they do. They believe in what they’re trying to accomplish, and they have fun doing it. This makes everyone else want to join the ride.

Communication: A great boss is a communicator who has the ability to relate deeply to others, someone who is able to empathize and recognize the talents in their employees and peers. They have strong emotional intelligence and self-awareness, and speak and act with integrity.

Active Listener: Many bosses make the mistake of talking far too much and stifling staff contributions. Employees sit still and are sullen. A great boss will defend her stance when they know they are right but will also be able to listen when they think they may be in the wrong.

Delegation: Great leaders know when and how to delegate and, for the most part, remain removed from the project, trusting their employees to be professional and produce results. They know that being involved in the granular details of these projects is a waste of their time, and inhibits their employees from feeling free to do great work. They know that they should trust their employees and don’t micromanage to the point of distraction.

Recognize Effort: Employees need to feel appreciated. Research shows that human beings thrive on recognition. They just never get tired of it. Nothing works like positive reinforcement, and a great boss is very aware of this. A great boss mentions the things they like that their employees are doing; it’s no surprise that they get more of those things.

Invite Creative Thinking: A great boss knows how to integrate creativity into daily conversation and procedures so that every employee feels natural about being creative and facilitating productive creativity when interacting with others in the company. Creates an environment where people are empowered to make change on their own to improve product, process, and procedures.

Maybe the things I mentioned above do not make any sense for you now, but eventually, you will experience the difference and garner a greater understanding of which manager you prefer for your own professional life. If you cultivate these characteristics, you’ll become the unforgettable boss that your people will remember for the rest of their careers.

Who’s your greatest boss? What made they so great?

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  1. Maybe it goes without saying that
    A great boss lets her team shine when talking to stakeholders, giving credit to who it deserves.
    A great boss stands up for his team when it is blamed for whatever reasons while never hiding or bending the facts.
    A great boss is open and honest even when telling bad news and maintains a positive attitude even when the going gets tough.
    A great boss forms strong connections between her team members so that the team is stronger than the sum of individuals.

    1. Great points to add Lothar. I think at the end of the day a great boss is someone you respect. Someone who is a role model.