Building A Better Boss

There are two parties responsible for building a better boss: the employee and the boss.

As an employee, there might be times when you’re tempted to be critical of your boss. You might think he’s doing certain things incorrectly, isn’t doing his share of the work, doesn’t care enough for his staff, etc. Has this ever happened to you? Generally speaking, whatever side of the fence you’re on, the other side always seems easier — probably because of what you don’t know about the other side. Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to comparing your performance with your boss’.

You should get to know the other side of the fence, not as you think it should be or you want it to be, but how it really is, including all of the issues your boss deals with now. Once you see what your boss’s job consists of, consider what attributes you think makes a boss the best.

Does the better boss:

  • Support staff and help them get things done?
  • Listen to staff members’ ideas and value them equally to her ideas?
  • Provide a sounding board for issues and concerns?
  • Listen to concerns and assist with analysis and next steps?
  • Have a positive attitude most if not all the time?
  • Understand the staff’s personal needs (vacations, time off, etc.)?
  • Equally delegate staff to the good and bad jobs?
  • Motivate the staff to reach greater heights of achievement?
  • Reward excellence, applaud achievement, and praise extra effort?
  • Discipline the worst performer or constant underachiever?

Regardless of whether or not your boss does these things, now it’s time to reflect back on your side of the fence. Think about the attributes of the staff who work for a better boss.

Do you:

  • Help out when there are extra duties?
  • Make reasonable suggestions when issues come up?
  • Keep your boss informed of issues and concerns AS they arise?
  • Come prepared to work through issues?
  • Keep a positive attitude throughout the work day or week?
  • Stay reasonable about personal needs and requests for time?
  • Enthusiastically accept assigned tasks?
  • Ask for guidance when confused?
  • Meet deadlines and provide the best service you can?
  • Avoid underperforming, slacking off, or not listening?

After reading this list, ask yourself — are you doing what you should do or just what you want to do?

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