Select Page

If you’ve been working for most of your adult life, then I’m sure you’ve had some pretty good bosses, ones who were incompetent but stayed out of your way, and ones that were simply horrible. While most people have at least one thing that they don’t like about their boss, there are many people in the upper echelons of a company who are a huge asset to the people they manage and the company as a whole. If you’re in the process of job hunting, and you want to make absolutely sure you won’t be stuck under another terrible boss, here are a few signs of a truly great one to look out for…

They Reassure You

This can take the form of stimulation, and encouragement to do better at your job. These things often go hand in hand, and the results they get out of employees can be very impressive. If you can pin down a job where you’re constantly reassured that you’re on the right track, there won’t be many limits to the things that you can achieve.

They Don’t Micromanage

Warren Buffett, one of the greatest entrepreneurs who ever lived, famously said “hire well, manage little.” If your boss has never heard this quote, or let it go straight over their head, then it can be a serious detriment to your career progression. Employees who are micromanaged may feel demotivated, or dependent on their boss’s approval before making any kind of decision. Neither of these will help you much in your career, so if you get the feeling a prospective boss is prone to micromanaging, get out of there quick! You can read more about this issue at .

They Appreciate your Skills

Any good boss will work quickly to become familiar with employee’s talents and skills. This is a massive asset when it comes to delegation. Truly great bosses will find one-on-one time for figuring out what employees enjoy most at work, their ambitions, and where they’re headed in the immediate future. This will fit in neatly with their training responsibilities, and hopefully, at some point, a promotion. In any position, it’s essential that you know where you’re going, just as much as your boss.

They Can Take the Blame

If there’s one trait that’s universal in all terrible bosses, it’s their ability to shift the blame for a problem, any problem, onto a subordinate, when they were clearly the person who was at fault. The issues this causes can be hard to pin down for the higher-ups at a company, and may call for the services of a consultancy like this: Good bosses, on the other hand, will admit to their mistakes openly, walk their staff through an analysis of their failure, and the lessons they’ve learned from the experience. This will make them a great role model for employees, and discourage them from passing the buck themselves.

They’re Friendly and Approachable

This one is closely tied in with my first point. While being a nice person doesn’t qualify someone to be a business leader, and no one wants to work under David Brent, the personality of your boss will still play a big part in how effective they are in their position. Most people have had a spell of working under a bad-tempered and difficult boss, or even a full-blown office tyrant. When your boss is approachable and friendly, it will make it so much easier to talk to them about any tasks you’re struggling with, or something that’s bothering you outside of your job description. This, in turn, makes it easier for your boss to act quickly and engineer a working environment that gets the best out of everyone.

They Can Communicate Effectively

You’ve probably discovered by now that communication skills are essential for being an effective worker, at any level of the company. However, when you’re in charge of a team of other people, being able to communicate effectively becomes even more important. A good boss will make sure that you know exactly what you have to do, and when you have to do it by. Clear deadlines and criteria will keep the whole team moving towards the same things at a good pace. If anyone in a senior position is terrible at communicating, it can lead to all kinds of problems for the business.

They Keep a Cap on Meetings

I probably don’t have to tell you that endless, and in many cases, pointless meetings, get on people’s nerves like nothing else. A good worker, regardless of seniority, knows that meetings should be used for brainstorming new ideas, and reporting on the progress of projects that are already in motion. Every meeting should help productivity, rather than hinder it. This is something all good bosses know and put into practice. If you think that a prospective boss will run meeting after meeting for no good reason, start looking for a different position.

They’re not Afraid to Get Their Hands Dirty

A lot of bosses, once they reach the dizzy heights of their executive position, would never dream of touching more menial tasks again. While this is understandable when they’ve put in a lot of work to get where they are, it’s not really a trait that you want in a boss. A truly great boss is in touch with every little facet of what makes the company tick, and will be prepared to step out of the office and get their hands dirty with even the most monotonous of jobs. This is one of the most effective ways for a higher-up to keep in touch with the reality on the office floor, and bond with the staff who are under them. While they may really have too many responsibilities to get their hands dirty, this is still a very good trait that you should seek out.

While there’s no such thing as a perfect boss, keeping an eye out for these traits could lead to you working for one who comes pretty close.