Eight Things Good Bosses Do

A recent article over on the HBR blogs covered the 12 things that good bosses believe which, while important, don’t necessarily help a new boss understand what she has to do to be a good boss. So, in this post, I’m going to tell you the eight things that good bosses do. In time, you’ll understand why and adopt the same beliefs, but when you’re new, sometimes actions have to come first. So, without further ado, here they are:

  • Human Shield

    They protect their people from intrusions, distractions, and idiocy of every stripe and shade.

  • Empower

    They empower their people to make decisions and take charge, they don’t micro-manage every little detail.

  • Manage the Mundane

    They do the distractive busy work and fire fighting that would keep their people from accomplishing their jobs.

  • Give Away the Glory

    Not only do they enable their people to win, but they credit their people with the win.

  • They Listen

    They don’t assume they have all the answers. Moreover, they assume that the answers they do have come with an expiry date — an expiry date that activates as soon as a subordinate gives them a better answer.

  • They Accept Mistakes

    They know that sometimes their direct reports will make mistakes and use it as a learning opportunity to create a better employee.

  • They Take, and Encourage, Managed Risks

    They know you can’t win big if you don’t take a risk once in a while.

  • They Make Decisions and Follow Through

    They understand that their employees will come up with a number of approaches to solve a problem, some good, and some not so good, and that they will have to make the final decision. They do it with confidence, and, for better or worse, follow through and get it done. And if they make a mistake, they admit it, post-mortem it, and use it as a learning opportunity.

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