'Best Bosses' win praise for dialogue, balance, support

I hear a lot about lousy managers, so as Bosses Day rolled around (October 16th), I decided to host a Best Boss Contest with our online newsletter subscribers. My faith is restored. Here are some excerpts from the nominations:

See how your boss compares to these master managers:

§      The reason she is so good is that she has created the way for me to accomplish great things by being supportive, while at the same time, she encourages me to balance my work life with my family life. For example, one day she said she needed to speak to me. I had been working on a lot of different projects. She was telling me that she appreciated the work I was doing, and that she was pleased with my performance. All I could think of was when will I hear the "but." It finally came when she said, "But you’ve been working a lot of hours, so I want you to take tomorrow off, with pay."

§      She shows great respect for confidentiality—private conversations stay private.

§      He keeps my apprised of the business issues and updates.

§      My opinions and ideas are well received.

§      Even though it wasn’t quite a year, my boss scheduled a meeting to discuss my work performance with me over lunch. During the lunch, I was told my accomplishments and work were much appreciated and that I was doing a great job. To top it off, I was rewarded with a nice wage increase and bonus after only working ten months. Wage increases are not unusual, but nice ones with a bonus, especially for an Executive Administrative Assistant IS unusual.

§      He always takes time to find out what we are doing in terms of our personal time and looks for little ways to see to it that our jobs can be done more effectively. And he’s always looking for feedback from us at all times.

§      He provides constructive criticism, but he never makes us feel belittled or that the critique was unjustified, or that he is singling one of us out.

§      He gives us projects and looks for things that may give us the opportunity to grow in all areas and achieve the company objectives. This is really great because we can contribute immediately to the company’s success and see the results of our efforts.

§      She constantly does things that make me feel valued. She brings me flowers, leaves anonymous thank you notes on my desk, constantly gives me credit for my ideas and forwards voice mails or e-mails on to me, giving our department kudos for jobs well done.

§      She’s the first boss I feel able to be totally honest and creative with. She always goes to bat for me and gives me flexible hours and time off, as long as the job gets done.

§      I think it was just great that this year when he went on vacation, he informed me he had confidence I could handle the job in his absence and he would not be able to be reached in any way. Now, that’s a real vacation for him and a confidence builder for me.

§      Although he is very busy, he always gets my performance reviews done on time and works with me in setting goals for the coming year. He makes me reach and learn by encouraging me to finish my degree and sees that I attend seminars and classes that may help me.

§      She insists on taking breaks for latte’s or walks downtown.

§      Involves staff in solutions to problems (or opportunities for improvements).

§      Communicates complex issues in a straightforward manner, so that others understand.

Did you notice the themes? These bosses appreciate how hard their employees work and take time to tell them, they give them feedback often, they care about their personal lives outside of work, they want employees to be open and honest with opinions and ideas, and they challenge them with meaningful work. If you’re a manager, what would your employees say about you?

Joan Lloyd is a Milwaukee based executive coach and organizational & leadership development strategist. She is known for her ability to help leaders and their teams achieve measurable, lasting improvements. Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding, providing: executive coaching, CEO coaching & leader team coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, retreat facilitation and presentation skill coaching and small group labs. Contact Joan Lloyd & Associates at (414) 573-1616, mailto:info@joanlloyd.com, or www.JoanLloyd.com 
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