Are you a "Best Boss"

For the past 30+ years and with thousands of participants, we have been conducting an informal survey to determine the characteristics of those people deemed to be “best bosses”. While teaching supervisors how to manage the performance of their direct reports, we had them participate in an exercise where they listed the characteristics of the best boss they had ever had.  We noticed that there was a lot of consistency across groups and around the world.  We came to call the leadership style that emerged from the data “The Facilitative-Relational Leader” because these bosses used skills to create an environment that made it easier for their team members to express their ideas and achieve their objectives.  While there is some variance in the lists that were generated, there are 20 characteristics that always showed up, and they are:

  1. Excellent communicator (Sends clear messages and listens effectively)
  2. Holds himself and others accountable for results
  3. Enables success
  4. Motivates others
  5. Cares about the success of others
  6. Honest and trustworthy
  7. Shows trust by delegating effectively
  8. Fair and consistent
  9. Competent and knowledgeable
  10. Rewards/recognizes success
  11. Leads by example
  12. Loyal to employees
  13. Friendly
  14. Good problem solver
  15. Team builder
  16. Flexible and willing to change when necessary
  17. Good planner/organizer
  18. Good decision maker
  19. Shows respect to others
  20. Deals effectively with conflict

Over the next few weeks, we are going to address some of the key characteristics and delve into how the best actually express them, but for now, you may want to think about how you would be viewed by your employees.  How would you stack up against this list?  We have our class participant’s rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 1 means “not at all” and 10 means “very accurately”) on how well each characteristic describes them as a manager/supervisor.  You may want to imagine how your team members would evaluate you.  This will give you an idea about what you should focus on to become more effective in your role as a leader.