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10 Ways to Be a Good Boss

As well as having had some negative work experiences, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with some wonderful people, including some of my previous bosses.

Life is too short to deal with some of the idiosyncrasies described in Suzanne’s previous article on bad bosses.

So let’s balance the scale and look at what it takes to be a good boss.

Even if you are not a manager at the moment, take note. You will probably have to manage in your future career at some point and these are some of the best things you can do to guarantee that your subordinates and co-workers will respect you and want to stay the course.

So, here is my top ten list of ways to make life for your employees much more enjoyable and still get the work done. Remember, as with any relationship, it’s all about how you treat others.

1. Be Honest. Hey, tell the truth. Hiding the truth from your co-workers only breeds suspicion and contempt. Even if it’s painful, you must come clean.

2. Give Time. Accept that people need time to do things, and that sometimes getting to work at exactly 9AM is not going to happen for many reasons. What’s the big deal, anyway?

When you are too strict over time, people are less willing to stay late or work overtime to complete a project. On the other hand, people will remember that you let them slide on occasion and they’ll pay you back in spades.

3. Be Visible. You’ve got to be there when the going gets tough. If you start directing others, you must be able to dig in with both heels yourself if you want to win the tug-of-war.

Besides, it’s a team effort, right? Don’t delegate and walk away. Be a leader and provide classic leadership by example.

4. Have Integrity. Do what you say you will – and visa versa – Don’t
do what you say you won’t. It’s that simple. Keep your promises!
Actions speak louder than words.

5. Keep an Open-Mind. When someone thinks of a new and different
way of looking at a problem – listen, listen, listen, think, think, think. Don’t throw your weight around and force people to do everything your way. Everyone wants to feel like they are contributing to the project, so let them.

6. Bring Forgiveness.
Okay, we all make mistakes. It is the good boss who says “That was a simple mistake. I could have easily done that myself. It’s okay. Now, let’s clean up this mess and get on with the show”.

7. Have a Sense of Humor. Oh, go ahead and laugh at yourself for making a mistake. What can it hurt?

8. Stand Up. Be willing to stand up or defend others in a crisis. I had a boss who did this for me on a regular basis, and boy was I impressed with her!

9. Be a Non-Blamer.
You take the blame. In social dancing circles, the etiquette is to accept the blame for anything that goes wrong even if it’s not your fault. The first one to acknowledge and accept the blame wins major points. It goes for the workplace too!

Passing the buck will get you absolutely nowhere. Eventually, everyone will know anyway, so go ahead and take it like a man (or a woman), right on the chin.

10. Give R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Nothing is more frustrating than not being recognized for your hard work. A good boss will spend more effort in showing you the carrot, than slapping you with the stick. Praise is the number one motivator in my book.

Well, that’s my list of best characteristics for bosses. Now, how would you like to have me for your boss?

Incidentally, it’s also my list for finding anyone attractive, be it a
potential new employee, spouse, or presidental candidate.

How would/do you make sure you are a good boss?

1 Comment

  1. Suzanne on June 3, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    Great article!!! Thanks Paul!

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