Discover more from Letter to Leaders
5 Characteristics of the Best Bosses You'll Ever Have
Who's the Best Boss you ever had? And why?
At the start of each leadership program I conduct, I ask participants to tell me about the best boss they ever had and what made them great. Over the past 15 years, I've compiled the responses to identify the most important characteristics of leaders to the people they manage. While this data is not scientific, the results are interesting.
The five most common responses are that the best boss was:
2. A great communicator;
3. Supportive, cared about employees as people;
4. Had integrity, and
5. Was trustworthy.
These qualities equally are important to millennials and boomers alike, as well as to people at all levels of management.
Effective communication is the most critical leadership characteristic.
Regardless of how intelligent, experienced, or hardworking you may be, poor communication skills will hinder your success. Today's leaders understand that transparency is critical to building trust within the organization, making it essential to a leader's success.
People want a boss who cares about them and supports them. When managers take the time to get to know their employees, they create a sense of camaraderie that fosters a positive work environment. Honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness are also essential qualities of effective leaders. Every mistake and ethical misstep can be magnified in today's social media-driven world.
While younger and older employees have similar expectations of their bosses, younger employees tend to seek out mentors and coaches more than older employees. Feedback is also critical, with younger employees preferring more frequent feedback than older ones.
Finally, the best bosses are those who give their employees the freedom to make decisions and work autonomously. This type of trust is especially important for developing leaders, who need opportunities to fail and succeed on their own.
As a bonus tip for interviewers, ask job candidates about their best boss and why they were great. This question provides insight into the type of management style that the candidate prefers, allowing you to determine if it matches your own.
Thanks for reading Letter to Leaders! Subscribe for free to receive new posts.