I have this peculiar habit of noticing people while I travel in metro. Thanks to the long ardent journey, I get plenty of time to pursue my hobby. To help my cause, I do not plug in my earphones; I do not use WhatsApp messenger to catch up on 580 unread messages from idiosyncratic groups. Rather, I prefer to indulge in a book or a newspaper.
a. I love stories. New and old.
b. It’s easy to catch up on people through the corners of the newspaper or a book. I can always steal glances; act as if I am reading. And,
c. I have been recently told that I look devastatingly geek-ish when I hold a book/newspaper.
So, one Monday morning I observed this middle-aged man (sloppy back, hairs gone) talking to someone over phone.
“But why me always? I mean, I have had bad bosses in the past. But this one is the worst. No matter what I do, he always manages to find some faults in it. And if at all I manage to produce a flawless work, he doesn’t even utter a single word of appreciation. Do you think I should quit?”
Horrible bosses playing in front of my eyes. Poor guy! Imagine his misery on a Monday morning.
I know what you are going to say- This is not observing; this is intrusion into someone’s privacy. Eavesdropping is the word.
Okay. I OVERHEARD. So, what?
Point is, my heart sank. And then floated (and gloated) immediately when I realized that I have a super awesome boss who is not even an inch closer to being a ‘boss’. The most important part- he works like an employee of the company. He is a leader. And a friend. :)
You can find the traits of a good boss almost everywhere but I have my own. Let’s look at these sure-shot signs to spot an awesome boss-
1. A great leader and mentor
We all know the definition of a good leader. So, when it comes to leading your team, the word boss itself takes a side note. It’s just a stepney wheel. A good boss never misuses the designation on his name plate. He/She looks at every challenge as an opportunity.
They follow the new definition of CEO- Chief Encouragement Officer. If you run into your boss’ cabin with a visibly nervous face but leave with a smile, then count yourself in the lucky few ones.
2. Competent and an effective decision maker
Decision making is an art. A good decision maker not only decides the fate of his actions but is also responsible to steer his team to a successful stance.
How will you know if your decision is right or wrong? By deciding. A good boss strikes a balance between his instincts and experience to stay competent and guide the team at crossroads. And once the decision is made, he never looks back and repents it. Rather he will either make it work or learn from the mistakes.
3. Puts the people first and shows appreciation
It’s never too difficult to work out a problem with people if you treat them as humans and not robots. A good boss always treats his employees as a significant ‘cog in the wheel’, no matter however small role they play, they are important to the growth of organisation.
If your boss provides you ample opportunities for self-development, gives regular feedback and appreciates for every small achievement, then congratulations! You are not just an old neglected war horse. You are valuable and your boss knows your worth.
4. Passionate about his/her idea and dedicated towards work
Sometimes, you will notice that the work you are doing is slowly getting boring. The hot burning idea turning into black ashes. This is where you spot a crucial difference between an average boss and a super awesome boss- the latter never falls short of flames. The desire to do better than the best almost never dies.
That super cool boss will not lie behind even if he has to do menial tasks in order to do an excellent job. He is passionate, he is dedicated and above all he is the rockstar who knows how things are done.
5. Gives and receives constant feedback
A good boss will never pick a scapegoat to blame for all the wrongdoings. Instead they will provide their feedback immediately and encourage people to experiment and improve.
On the other hand, neither he is afraid of being judged. So he regularly asks for feedback and acts upon it even more quickly. Being an active listener is just another quality among many others. Every good boss believes that they are not ‘Mr-I-Know-It-All’ even when they know pretty much everything.
6. Gives credit of company’s success to his/her employees
Employees are the pillars of any organisation’s success. Every good boss will acknowledge this. A small appreciation from client? Give credit to the developer who worked on it.
A newly acquired office space? Share credit with your employees for doing the constant good work.
A good boss will appreciate the efforts of the sales team for pitching a new customer but an awesome boss will share the news with the whole organisation appreciating all the good work each and every employee is doing.
7. Doesn’t micromanage and trusts employees
A good boss assigns work to team members as per their skills. An awesome boss believes in your capabilities and trusts you with timely completion without hampering your self-esteem.
Great leaders give their employees ‘tools’ to succeed, they do not encroach on the methods opted for achieving that. They demand efforts and not some unrealistic perfection.
That being said, it’s good to keep a check on the process sometimes to strike a balance.
It wasn’t hard for me to spot all these signs in my boss. Apart from all the above he’ll be disappointed if you finished your quarterly goals but missed out watching the latest Hollywood action flick.
He’ll be furious not when you leave the office before time but when you leave before gulping the snacks he ordered for you.
He’ll will keep your appraisals at bay until you finish that uber-cool science fiction.
The only disappointment I see on his face is when he sees you are doing absolutely nothing for your personal growth.
And that look on his face when he talks about Hollywood movies in hushed voices like a teenager!
Hard to find, but yes incredible bosses do exist. Which of these qualities does your boss possess?