Sunday, October 20, 2013

6 Lessons Learned From Life With a GREAT Boss

A great boss is a gift. 

With over ten hours a day and five days a week spent on the job, working for someone who truly cares about you and gets the job done is priceless!

Who are these great bosses and what can we learn from them?

1. Great bosses care deeply about other people.

I know it's a novel concept but to be a great boss you have to actually care about the people who work with you and for you.  Put simply, great bosses like people!  They are curious about what makes their donors, volunteers, and employees tick. And they take time to get to know and understand others.

2. Great bosses know their stuff AND are always interested in improving.

Great bosses garner respect because they are highly skilled in their areas of expertise.  They do what they do really well, i.e. they are competent.  That said, they are not wedded to past processes or success.  Instead, they are open to experimentation and are always on the hunt for ways to improve. 

3. Great bosses get results.

I've never worked for a great boss who wasn't also successful in getting results.  At the end of the day, great bosses want to WIN but not at any cost and not for its own sake.  They want to win because they truly care about the cause.  This is what motivates them.  They do good work and are careful to craft the culture and processes, and nurture the people who can make the magic happen.

4. Great bosses ALWAYS take blame and ALWAYS give credit. 

Great bosses are always the first to admit mistakes when things go wrong.  That said, they are not pushovers.  They will take their teams to task but they do it privately and they do it with the aim to improve the work product not shame or criticize others. 

5. Great bosses don't need to be in the center of every miracle.*

They know that they are only a small pixel in a much larger, more magnificent print.  And they don't need to hog the stage.  They may even shirk the spotlight.  Instead, their greatest pride comes from watching others succeed and creating the conditions under which their team members, colleagues, and organizations can thrive.

6. Great bosses are bossy! 

Working with a great boss is not all rainbows, unicorns, and fairies. In fact, in my experience, great bosses are actually quite demanding.  The difference is that they are tough because they care so much about the mission and getting the job done not because they get a cheap thrill out of wielding their power.

What did your best boss teach you?  And what are you doing to become a better boss?



*P.S.  Thanks to AA (Oops! now AL) for reminding me that the miracle is ALREADY happening and I don't need to be in the center of it.  I only need faith.