What Makes An Awesome Boss (It’s probably not what you think)

A good boss can make or break your career happiness but it’s not always the super friendly manager that meets awesome boss criteria. (If you’ve read my book, you would have seen my warning about ‘super friendlies’). While it’s great news that your boss is friendly and engaging there is actually a quality that rates higher on my hit list.

Fair- This is so underrated but the number one important thing when it comes to good management.  There are probably two main ingredients for a fair boss. The first is the ability to treat all staff members as equals regardless of personal bias. That sounds simple but let’s face it: we all have our favourite co-workers and team members and your boss is no exception. It’s perfectly ok for your boss to personally like one staff member more than another, it’s just not ok for them to show it in the work environment. Sometimes management and staff members are friends outside of work (the jury is out on this one but I am totally fine with it as long as it doesn’t interfere with work). That’s fine, they probably have similar interests. It becomes an issue when the ‘favourite’ is also the one that gets the promotion, an easier workload or other perks no one else is getting.

My second point on the fairness scale is rarely mentioned but it is the ability for the boss/manager to be fair with criticism and feedback. To illustrate my point I once had a boss that summed up this point completely. He managed a different area to me and had one staff member to supervise. This staff member was always complaining about how he was always in trouble and how horrible his boss was so when I got transferred over to his section for a three month contract I was petrified. It turns out that this guy was one of my favourite supervisors ever. Yes, if you did the wrong thing you would know about it and he would enforce some form of punishment (extra duties ect) which was new to me (hello, I though school was finished) but………………….if you stuffed up you only had yourself to blame because prior to assigning any work he would go through it step by step, asking tons of questions to make sure you understood the expectations and he would always make time to respond to any questions you had. Also he was very fair, if you make a mistake and it was because he hadn’t taught or told you something he would always accept responsibility for it and never pass the blame on to you (this is a pretty rare quality). Also if it was a genuine mistake – no penalty.

What about you? What is the number one thing you think makes a good boss? And what’s the absolute worst quality? I’d also love to know your thoughts on if it’s ok for management to hand out with staff outside of office hours.

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