Good Boss, Bad Boss, How to Be the Right Kind of Boss

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Jan 9, 2015
This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.

Editor’s Note: Readers frequently ask about past TLNT articles, so every Friday, we republish a Classic TLNT post.

Are you a good boss, or a bad boss?

Sounds a little bit like The Wizard of Oz, we know. Similar to that classic story, what type of boss you are can determine if your people respond to you more like Munchkins or Flying Monkeys.

While we were writing this blog with our marketing partner, Preactive Marketing, we found something interesting while we researched this topic, and it made us raise an eyebrow. “How to be a boss” generates roughly 20 million monthly global hits, yet “How to be a good boss” generates only 33,000 monthly global hits.

What makes a good boss

So why is that?

We realize it is probably because of many different factors, however we were intrigued that people are not more interested in how to be a good or even great boss.

Is mediocrity taking over? Perhaps the reason is people are more focused on searching for the topic based more on the particular role than they are from the perspective of how to excel in that given role. Or maybe it’s because of the uptick in entrepreneurship. Regardless, building a successful business requires more than being a boss, it requires being a good boss – one who can create followership, build trust and maintain engagement.

So what makes a good boss or a bad boss?

High level – we’ll offer a few qualities that make a good boss and a bad boss.

Good Boss

  • Vision
  • Transparency
  • Inspiration
  • Authenticity
  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Socialized power
  • Values equality
  • Recognition for a job well done
  • Helps other succeed

Bad Boss

  • Tunnel vision
  • Secrecy
  • Pessimism
  • Disingenuous
  • Dishonesty
  • Mistrust
  • Personalized power
  • Practices oppression
  • Ignoring a job well done
  • Only helps themselves succeed

3 steps in becoming a good boss

So how do you become a good boss?

Short answer – develop and excel in the “good boss” qualities listed above. You can get started in three (3) steps.

  • Feedback: The first step in being a good boss is feedback – soliciting input from those you lead regarding your actions and behaviors and how those behaviors positively and negatively impact them.
  • Awareness: The next step in being a good boss is having self awareness – taking the feedback on those actions and behaviors that may negatively impact those you lead and making a conscious effort to be aware of when they are occurring and why.
  • Action: The third step in being a good boss is action – take action to increase your positive behaviors and decrease those with a potential negative impact. Training, coaching, and mentoring are all great ways to increase and develop new skills that can have a positive impact on those you lead.

Here’s hoping that most of you desire to be good – even great – bosses! So what qualities or strategies do you think make the difference between a boss, and a good boss?

This was originally published on the Tolero Think Tank blog.

This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.