Are You a Great Boss?

Aug 18, 2011
3 Min Read

Our relationship with our most immediate supervisor at work is an important one. Arguably, our bosses have the most impact on whether we love our jobs or hate them. Unfortunately, most of us have a less-than-stellar relationship with our managers. Consider this:

  • 34% employees are dissatisfied with their relationship with their boss.
  • 38% workers think their boss is uncaring about their career development.
  • 45% say their boss has taken credit for their work.
  • 37% say their boss has thrown them under the bus.
  • 53% think their boss doesn’t respect them as a professional equal.
  • 44% say they could do a better job than their boss.
  • 61% think they possess better management skills than their boss. (Source: Spherion Staffing Survey)

Jeff Haden at BNET wrote a post about five things great bosses never do. If you read just the list of five things, it might seem that these are quite common: 1) deliver annual performance reviews, 2) say, “I’ve been meaning to apologize,” 3) hold meetings to solicit ideas, 4) create development plans, and 5) call in favors. Have you done one (or more) of these things?

The difference between being GREAT and good is that great bosses don’t just do these things. They go above and beyond.

Here are the differences between good and great bosses:

    • Good bosses deliver feedback through performance reviews—annually. Great bosses give feedback on the spot, when it is most useful and relevant—often.
    • Good bosses begrudgingly apologize when they are proven wrong. Great bosses confess to mistakes easily, without shame, and as soon as possible.
    • Good bosses get workers’ input through brainstorming sessions when they are stumped.Great bosses are always receptive to unsolicited feedback and act on ideas when feasible.
    • Good bosses help employees create developmental plans for the upcoming year. Great bosses know their employees’ career aspirations and steer them toward opportunities that will make those goals possible.
    • Good bosses play the balance game of give and take, quid pro quo. Great bosses give generously; doing the right thing, without expectations.


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