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cardiacmusings's avatar

In your opinion, what are the most important qualities a successful boss should have?

Asked by cardiacmusings (67points) January 10th, 2011

I want to know what you think describes an excellent boss. Thinking back on your favorite boss, what was it that made them stand out to you? First, in a positive way. Secondly, what things stood out in a negative light?

Tomorrow, I will be starting my first day running a division of a company. I’ve been a secondary supervisor to a small group of employees before but I have never been solely responsible for a team before. I, at the very least, have somewhat sufficient skills already seeing as how I was hired for the job. What I want to do, is collect information from workers. I want to be a successful boss who gets results without having a crew who resents me.

I’m hoping the wonderful Fluther collective can share some tips, some Do’s and Dont’s of the managing world.

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11 Answers

SamIAm's avatar

I have always found that having a boss that shows that they are willing to do or have done in the past the work that their asking me to do is very respectable. Talking to me as a person, not talking down to me and not asking me to do things that are out of my job description is also important. Also, having a boss that is organized… obviously people are human and make mistakes but a manager should know what’s going on. Good luck to you!! The fact that you care enough to be researching this says that you’re probably going to be a good boss… caring about employees is so important! :)

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

My current boss has been my best boss so far – she has consistently put my mental and physical well being and that of my family above my supposed goals, numbers and projections. She has implemented weekly (voluntary) meetings with me in Starbucks to check in and discuss how everything is going in my work and life and has made her home available to me on numerous occasions. I believe her when she looks me in the eye after I’ve yet again overworked myself and says “You, your well-being is the most important thing to me”. Sometimes she says our boundaries are hazy and enmeshed but because of the work we do (we work with cancer patients), she can’t see being any other way.

snowberry's avatar

My husband is the kind of boss I’d want. He knows how to find the right folks for the right job, hands it to them and says, “git ‘er done!” He NEVER micro-manages, but he does hold each employee accountable. He is liberal with the praise, and tries to keep an open line of communication.

There is a clear philosophy, statement of purpose, and code of conduct for all employees. There is a clear job description for each job in the company as well.

One problem with a company like this is that it has tiers of people. Some of them never see him, except from a distance, so they have a tendency to assume certain things based on stuff he does or doesn’t do. Then gossip starts, and sometimes there’s a huge problem all because some dimwit couldn’t keep his/her mouth shut. He’s had to fire a few people like that, when they couldn’t calm down and work instead of create problems.

He says he keeps an open door so anyone can come in and talk at any time, but for some reason those who like to make assumptions stay away.

Well, this is a start. Hope it helps.

cardiacmusings's avatar

@Samantha_Rae, @snowberry & @Simone_De_Beauvoir ; Thank you all for you responses, they gave me great brainstorming stems! Pulling them all together, it seems like communication is the overall most important factor. Whether it be making sure employees know I genuinely care about the well-being of them and their families or making sure they are knowledgeable on what I will be expecting out of them. I would be hard-pressed to reprimand someone for not doing something if I hadn’t clearly outlined it in the first place. Or, if I weren’t willing to step in and put in a little elbow grease side-by-side with them.

augustlan's avatar

Professional, but friendly. Available to talk to or get feedback from. Not a micro-manager. Communication, as you’ve surmised, is all important. Good luck with the new job!

BarnacleBill's avatar

I think a good manager develops people in a manner so that the department could run successfully in his/her absence, without micromanagement. They are also a good listener, and challenges people to solve their own problems in a collaborative manner. Positivity is a major characteristic of a good manner.

Cruiser's avatar

Say hello and goodbye to each employee every day. Remember they are people and have lives outside of work. Any personal problems at home will trump job responsibilities and learning how to juggle these life challenges with your employees will be critical to them perceiving you as a fair compassionate boss, but it is a delicate balancing act when their needs at home begin to stretch the limits of your time off policies. Listening will be your greatest asset as a boss and so will be communicating. Let them know you appreciate good work when they do it! If you see something that needs fixing or to be changed….let your employee have a crack at figuring it out first.

mowens's avatar

The ability to make work fun.

Trust me it can be done.

JLeslie's avatar

A boss who has first hand knowledge of the work their staff does.

Willing to jump and support their staff. Get their hands dirty during very busy times.

Good rapport, open door policy. Communication.

Treat everyone with respect.

Hands out positive reinforcement, acknowledges good work.

Creates a trust environment where negative criticism can be delievered, and perceived as helpful and working towards improvement. The employee should feel your goal is to make them successful.

Also, criticism should be given as things occur, not wait until review time. A formal review should never carry a huge surprise where an employee is blindsided.

john65pennington's avatar

I remember when an officer friend of mine made police chief in my department. i was duly proud of him and for him. this was a just promotion and well-deserved for my friend. he was a leader as a police officer and i knew this would carry on for him, as our police chief. and, i was correct in my opinion.

Right after his promotion, he made an effort to visit each police precinct to talk to the men and women in uniform. i remember one particular visit, when he made this statement at roll call: “You people are grown adults. all i ask of you is to do your job and make me proud of you”. i should have expected nothing less from my friend. all the officers respected my friend. the crime rate went down and the officers salaries went up. my friend came up through the ranks of my police department. he was not an outsider, he was one of us. this made a big, huge difference. did my friend, the chief, show me preferential treatment in the following years? no. we both knew better.

Bottomline is to be a leader, by showing examples of your leadership. never lose contact with the people underneath you. if a person does a good job…....tell them. a pat on the back and an “atta boy” does not cost a dime. you can still be one of “the guys”, but remember, you are their leader now and they expect you to lead. john

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