Values in a Boss

There are so many articles about what we should all be looking for in a boss and what makes a boss great, but at the end of the day, doesn’t it come down to each individual person? As I scrolled through my Twitter feed I saw an article from Inc. (@Inc) that caught my eye: 9 Surprising Traits of Truly Phenomenal Bosses. What exactly makes a boss phenomenal? While I’ve been lucky enough to have some pretty great bosses, I’ve heard enough horror stories to know that not all bosses are the same. It got me thinking about what I look for and value most in a boss, or more importantly a leader.

Open Communications – Who doesn’t want a boss who is open and honest with them? Whether it’s regarding changes in the organization, thoughts on an upcoming project or feedback about my work and the opportunities that may come my way in the next few years at my current company.

Confidence – Good bosses are not only confident in their employees but also in themselves. We all want a leader who empowers us and trusts that we will get the job or task at hand complete without much oversight.

Challenging – I, like most people, enjoy a good challenge. A leader that pushes and challenges me beyond my comfort zone but also knows when it’s time to cut some slack inspires me to take on projects I may not originally consider.

Understanding – A leader that takes the time to listen and understand when you have a problem or issue is important. Whether it’s an emergency at home or a mistake made on a highly visible project, an understanding boss is imperative.

Support – A boss that has your back makes or breaks an employee. If you don’t have support from your leader it can be difficult to make a decision or take a certain direction on a project if you’re second-guessing whether or not your boss will have your back. No one wants to learn that their boss threw them under the bus when someone pushed back.

What traits do you value most in a leader?