What Makes A Good Boss?

My son is in the process of binging a TV series that represents an office environment. I think some of the more successful TV series are those that represent a welcoming and exciting workplace environment. We spend thousands of hours every year in our workplace and I truly believe we all desire a place we want to go to every day, surrounded by people we care for and care for us.

As I have watched alongside him for a few episodes, we have had an interesting conversation on what makes one a good boss, or to expand the idea, a good leader. You can Google this and come up with multiple results. You can look on LinkedIn and get articles, blogs, and other ideas as well. Or you can pick up almost any book by John Maxwell. All of these can give some great ideas. You might even do a study of Nehemiah and see the qualities he has as a leader in a critical time in the history of Israel. (see here for two articles on Nehemiah: One & Two)

I want to share a few categories that I have gleaned from experience and from perusing multiple resources. This is by no means a complete list, just some ideas from me.

STRONG PEOPLE SKILLS – Relatable, good communication skills, listener, trustworthy, good manners, team dynamics, conflict management, etc.
COMPETENCY IN FIELD – A deep knowledge of their area (trends, strategies, skills, etc) – People want to follow someone they trust that know what they are doing.
CHARACTER – people also want to trust the person they are following. It has been said you can build competence, but character is who they are. Look for character.
VISIONARY & PASSIONATE – The leader believes in what he is doing and trying to accomplish, he enjoys the process and the people alongside him, and he is able to cast the vision that draws others to follow.
KNOWS HIS OWN LIMITATIONS – He is humble and willing to acknowledge his mistakes. Knows when to seek assistance and when to listen to others.
CARING & CONCERNED FOR EACH PERSON’S STORY – He makes each person feel valued, he strives for the best in each person (even if that competes with the process – for People are more important than the process), and he never throws anyone under the bus.
3E – EQUIPS, ENABLES, EMPOWERS – I believe a good boss does not just lead, but develops leaders. He delegates and enables others for them to succeed. His releasing of the reins is not abandoning them, but he walks alongside as the best encouragement for each and every person.

Which of these characteristics do you value in a leader?

One last note. One Forbes article gave a great quality – a great boss is a chess player not a checkers player.
… “In checkers, all the pieces are basically the same. That’s a poor model for leadership because nobody wants to feel like a faceless cog in the proverbial wheel. In chess, on the other hand, each piece has a unique role, unique abilities, and unique limitations. Unforgettable bosses are like great chess masters. They recognize what’s unique about each member of their team. They know their strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes, and they use these insights to draw the very best from each individual.” (see full article here)

OKAY – just my thoughts, and I am sure others may add to this. So if you find yourself in a leadership position, seek to be the best leader/boss possible. Seek to honor the Lord in all you do. And for those that have leaders over you (and that is all of us), pray for them – for Godly wisdom and that God would work in their lives to be the best leaders possible.

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