5 Things Great Bosses Do All the Time
By Wayne Mates
Several of my recent posts have bashed lousy bosses. You can read them here and here. Today’s post is about the things that make good bosses great. Good bosses are rare and great bosses are even rarer. So, what is it that elevates a boss to greatness?
- Leading by example – The great ones don’t tell their employees what to do; they show them how to do it. They are going on sales calls, solving operational or fiscal issues or in front of the media defusing public relations gaffes. Their employees know the boss can be counted on to show up. She is always there to lead every effort. She is not on some tropical island issuing orders on a cell phone while her staff deals with problems or blown opportunities.
- Consistency – The great create a stable and level playing field. They value working by a set of principles that never wavers regardless of the business situation. They treat all employees equally, honestly and with integrity. Just as importantly, they share those values with their staff, customers and the public alike.
- Fairness in mediating internal conflict – One of the most difficult challenges any boss confronts is two employees butting heads. Both feel they are correct and feel they should be supported by the boss. Sometimes it is two departments locked in mortal combat. The boss must have the Wisdom of Solomon to solve some conflicts. The boss who can listen objectively to both sides of an argument, make a decision and clearly state why they chose one decision is very rare. Even rarer is the boss who can look at both sides and mediate a compromise which may not satisfy either party but is in the best interest of the company. Some companies create committees to solve these types of conflicts which are a waste of time.
- Sense of humor – I don’t mean a backslapping jokester who loves to tell corny stories. What I refer to is a boss who can diffuse a tense situation with a touch of humor; one who can relate a story with a twist to get a point across. A boss who has a bit of self-deprecating humor becomes more human to his staff. If he can poke fun at himself, his employees are more likely to follow him wherever he goes.
- The ability to offer sincere compliments – Yes, of course money is nice, but employees always react positively, work harder and are more loyal if they are given a sincere thank you for a job performed well. I have seen too many instances of someone performing well, completing a task, and then, the boss never acknowledges it. A sincere thank you provides terrific motivation. It also works between team members.
There are more traits or activities where a boss can excel to become great. These are some of the fundamentals. Strive to do these five every day and you will not only have a terrific staff, you will feel rewarded yourself.
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