Anyone who has been in the workforce has encountered a variety of managers, ranging from awful to awesome. As a supervisor, your hope is that you fall into the latter category.
Whether you’re a longtime manager or someone who has recently become the boss, there are numerous opinions on what makes someone a good leader. Do a search online for this topic and you will find an infinite number of articles, videos and stories from people giving you their suggestions, preferences and advice.
I recently ran across a couple of excellent articles from HBR Blog Network, one that focused on being the best boss possible and one that talked about what not to do as a manager:
Based on my own work experience, as well as a number of years in managerial positions, here are some pointers and qualities for being the kind of boss you want to be – good, bad or amazing. A video example from popular culture is also included to illustrate the differences between the three.
A good boss…
- Provides positive feedback
- Acts consistently
- Sets goals
- Doesn’t overreact
- Is flexible
- Encourages employees
- Solves problems
- Communicates expectations
- Builds trust
Watch how Captain Kirk from Star Trek displays qualities that show him as a good manager, including team-building and delegating.
A bad boss…
- Is indecisive
- Blames others
- Has a huge ego
- Is inconsistent
- Needs to control everything
- Has a short fuse
- Is inflexible
- Thinks only of him/herself
- Takes credit for other people’s work or ideas
An example of what not to do is the manager in this Office Space video clip. He is condescending, micromanaging and doesn’t listen to the employee’s explanation at all.
An amazing boss…
- Acts humble
- Accepts failure and learns from it
- Shows genuine interest
- Provides opportunities
- Protects team
- Empowers and coaches employees
- Promotes personal accountability
- Recognizes professional and personal accomplishments
- Realizes positivity begets positivity, and vice versa
- Inspires and motivates others
The motivation speech that the coach gives to his team in Miracle shows how a great manager can become a great inspiration to employees.
Basically, bad bosses look out for themselves, good bosses look out for their teams and themselves, and amazing bosses look out for their teams at the expense of themselves. Another way to put it is that bad bosses only think of “I”, good bosses thing of “We” and amazing bosses think of “You.”
Since multiple studies show that the primary reason employees leave a company is because of their direct manager, the question you need to ask yourself is this: What kind of boss do I want to be – good, bad or amazing?
What are your thoughts? Do you have other suggestions or personal stories? Please feel free to ask questions or share your experiences below.
- How to be a Good Boss
- 5 Ways to be a Really Bad Boss
- Good Boss, Bad Boss: A Peek Into the Mind of the Best (and Worst)
Jeremy joined Empathia (then NEAS) in 2007 as Manager, Client Care Services, then became an Account Manager/Sales Consultant in 2012. He is also a certified wellness and tobacco cessation coach. Jeremy has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Organizational Management. Prior to joining Empathia, he spent 14 years in the EAP industry in a variety of roles with another behavioral healthcare organization. Jeremy enjoys reading, photography, music, and spending time with his wife and daughters.