What would it take to make you the best boss ever? If you get promoted into a supervisory or management role, you might be asking this question. That is if you get past the “Oh snap, what do I do now” stage.
But seriously, wouldn’t it be better if you really could be the best boss ever to your team? It is said people join companies but quit bosses. How can you avoid being ‘that guy?’
The best place to start is to think about the good bosses you have known. Certainly, you knew some. Maybe it was a coach in school or maybe your first boss who took you under his/her wing. For me, the idea of the best boss ever is more of a collage of many; a patchwork quilt of skills and abilities demonstrated in the trenches by bosses I have had.
As I work with my coaching clients, I often ask them to do this same exercise. Think about leaders you have known or know about. What attributes make them good leaders? I have the client write out the list they identify.
In no particular order, here are the common themes I get.
Interpersonal skill — having the ability to connect with employees. The time we spend at work should not be ‘all work’. There has to be some connection that happens. Otherwise, people lose interest.
I was told about a senior leader at a company who had the uncanny ability to recall names and details about workers’ family matters. It was not uncommon for him to see someone in the hall and ask “How did Jimmy’s project go at school?” He was following up on a small detail shared with him in a prior meeting.
Being able to relate to your people is not simply calling them by their names. It’s about getting down to earth with matters that mean something to them.
Integrity — This theme comes up a lot. People simply trust a person of integrity more than they trust anyone else.
Integrity has many layers. It starts with doing what you say you’re going to do. It also means staying away from the petty politics that can happen at work.
In addition, it means not cutting corners or making shady deals to get ahead, win the bid, or get your way.