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Six Key Traits of a Great Boss

If you are the owner or manager of a successful business, you probably consider yourself to be a good boss. But a few special characteristics can distinguish a good boss from a “great” one or someone who is truly extraordinary. Here are six ways you might set yourself apart:

  1. You don’t create and coddle “superstars.” When you allow one employee to become the star of the team—with tons of recognition and attention—the rest of the staff gets shunted aside. This alienates everybody except the star and sends the message to others that their contributions are not valued. Extraordinary bosses coordinate the goals of individuals to intersect with collective goals of the company.
  2. You delegate properly. When you constantly get involved in minor undertakings assigned to employees, you lower the motivation of those workers. This also sets you up as a bottleneck for work-through. Extraordinary bosses know to allow their people to do their jobs and provide supervision when necessary or requested. Otherwise, you will shut down creativity and strategic planning by others that can benefit the company.
  3. You remove the weakest link. When you put an employee in a key spot and that person does not perform well, it can be damaging to the entire team. In this case, the worst thing you can do is what many average bosses do: nothing. It is acceptable to give someone the chance to work things out, but there comes a point of no return. At that point, you should reassign the employee to another job or encourage him or her to leave.
  4. You put your employees first. Below-average bosses focus all of their attention on customers or clients, investors, other managers, themselves—anyone else but their employees. And it is easy for the workers to pick up on this attitude. Why should they care about the company if you don’t care about them? You will create a better workplace environment by putting employees first. What’s more, the public (including your customers or clients) will see it and appreciate it.
  5. You pay more attention to people than numbers. That is not to say that financial data is not important to running a successful business. But it is only part of the story. The best way to post great numbers is to make sure the job gets done. If you focus on getting the most out of your people, the numbers will likely take care of themselves.
  6. You ask questions instead of giving all the answers. Don’t think it is your job as a manager to know what to do in any given situation. Give your employees a chance to find the best ways to do things by asking them questions. Turn the conventional give-and-take on its head. This can spark the thought processes and ideas that will make an employee successful and more productive.

Can you honestly look in the mirror and say that you are a “great” boss? If so, it is likely that you possess at least some of these traits. If not, search for ways in which you can improve.

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