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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

9 Qualities all Good Bosses Should Have

    Few articles I have read sum up in such a short piece what I think being a boss should be.  While chapters and volumes and text books have been written on the subject, the brief article, "Being a good boss means doing the whole job," by Wally Bock, does a great job of getting to the point succinctly.

    I'm not saying being a boss, a leader, a manager, or a supervisor is so simple that all skills, theory, practices, and nuances can be described in less than 500 words - it can't.  But if you're looking for a place to start and information to help you get on track or back on track, this article could be very helpful.

    For me, this blog post was both affirmation of my style and approach, as well as a reminder that the development and evolution of being a boss is never ending.  Plenty to learn, including learning from my mistakes.  While a boss/leader/manager/supervisor needs certain competencies, here's a short list of qualities that all future and current bosses could benefit from:

  1. Be kind . . . always.
  2. Show compassion.  We all have issues and some have real challenges.  Treat them the way you'd want to be treated.
  3. Don't be afraid to admit you don't have the answer - chances are you're not the smartest person in the room.
  4. Don't be threatened by those who are smarter than you (you want those people on your team).
  5. Think globally.  While your staff will focus on their projects and responsibilities, you'll need to think about how those projects and what they do fit into the bigger picture.
  6. Pitch in where you can and show your support.  My staff really appreciate when I help with set-up, clean-up or in some other way as long as I don't get in the way or slow them down.  Often time just showing up to give my support is what they need most from me.
  7. Show your appreciation.  Saying thank you privately or publicly, giving a hand-written thank you card, or some other sort of recognition, can go along way towards improving an employee's morale and will make their day.
  8. Protect your reputation.  What you say and do matters.  Small indiscretions, careless words, or inappropriate actions can send a message that taints or damages your reputation, which could follow you in your career for years. 
    1. “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently,” Warren Buffett.
    2. Be careful what you say and do; they are watching you and judging you,” Priscilla Cockerell.
  9. Lead.  You're their leader.  They want and expect you to lead.  This is not the same as telling them everything they have to do everyday.  Rather it's articulating the vision, helping them understand their value and purpose in the organization, and helping lead the way toward being successful.  Leaders set the tone.

    In short, don't be the pointy-haired boss.  Be the type of boss they deserve and that you'd want to follow.

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