We’ve all had a terrible (or, at the very least, not-so-great) boss at some point, whether it was back when you were working at your first summer job as a teenager or it’s your current situation. But how many of us have been lucky enough to have a truly great boss? Even if you have, it can be harder to pinpoint what makes someone an amazing boss than what makes someone a subpar leader. Still, there are certain qualities that great bosses seem to embody, so whether you’re trying to be the best manager possible or you’re looking for a leader you can believe in, here are the traits to keep in mind.
1. They’re inspiring
Amazing bosses don’t have to manage (or worse, micromanage) every detail of the business. Instead, they need to see the big picture, and make their employees see it, too. When leaders have a strong vision for the company and can communicate that vision, their employees have something to believe in and can feel good about the work they’re doing.
2. They’re great decision makers
The words “indecisive” and “leader” aren’t often used in the same sentence (not favorably, at least). Leaders are faced with a lot of tough decisions, and the best of them understand how to make good ones, like the factors they need to consider, the people they should consult, and the foresight they need to think about how it affects employees and future business. Even if the decision isn’t the most popular, a great boss stands behind it and takes ownership.
3. They bring out the best in their employees
Great bosses know they can’t do it alone. They don’t micromanage, nor do they need to, because they empower their employees and inspire them to do their best work. When a boss makes you feel good about yourself and the work you’re doing, you feel more invested in the business, because you feel that your employer is invested in you. As a result, everyone reaps the benefits.
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4. They’re trustworthy
It’s one thing to rouse employees with a moving speech, but to actually get their employees behind them, leaders have to inspire trust. And great bosses understand that trust must be earned, so they have to do what they say and keep their promises. If employees can’t trust their leader, morale suffers, and that’s something customers pick up on.
5. They have a sense of humor
Running a business is no joke, but an amazing boss has to be able to see the humor in things — and it’s especially important to be able to laugh at oneself. There will be setbacks and unforeseen situations, but leaders who don’t take themselves too seriously put their employees at ease.
6. They appreciate feedback
Great leaders don’t surround themselves with a stable of people who only tell them yes. Instead, they know how valuable it is to gather different points of view, and how important dissenting opinions can be.
7. They’re accountable
If leaders are going to take credit for successes, they have to own up to shortcomings, too. The best bosses expect everyone to take responsibility for their actions, most of all themselves.