What is a Best Boss?

In our December newsletter we announced that we would be discussing the characteristics of a “Best Boss” throughout 2012. Our data comes from 30 years of asking course participants to tell us about the best boss they ever had. A picture of an individual who facilitates rather than dictates and builds lasting relationships emerged as a best boss. Beginning in this edition of The RAD Group Newsletter and continuing in upcoming editions, we will look at the skills and characteristics of this type of boss. Let’s begin by listing the top 20 characteristics of a best boss. 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

While these characteristics are not in any rank order, all are viewed as important and the first four are seen as critical to successful leadership. For this reason in our next four newsletters we will focus on each of the first four characteristics individually. But for now, we recommend that you do an evaluation of yourself. You can do this by evaluating how you think other people that you work with (direct reports, coworkers, etc.) would rate you on each item. You can use a 10-point scale where “1” means “doesn’t describe you at all” and “10” means “describes you very accurately”. Items on which you score 5 or below indicate areas that could be impacting the results that you get as a supervisor. If you are not already a supervisor, then these would be areas that you might want to focus on in case you do get the opportunity to become someones “boss”. Our hope this that this ongoing discussion of best boss characteristics will help you as you attempt to get results through the efforts of other people.