5 Qualities of Remarkable Bosses

I just finished reading an incredible article on managing staff on Inc Magazine.  It was written by Jeff Haden and is called 5 Qualities of Remarkable Bosses.  It is available here; http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/the-5-qualities-of-remarkable-bosses.html 

I’m a huge fan of strong, successful management in organizations especially in light of the fact that every organizations’ most precious commodity is its people.  It’s always been said that “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers”.

But if you have not clicked that link yet, and you’re still reading, here are the 5 qualities according to Jeff, and to be honest, the reason this article resonated with me is because some of this stuff he mentions can be taught – they teach you in graduate school – while other skills you either have or you do not.  I try each and every day to make sure I am aligned with these qualities and I think if you don’t do these, you really should.  

“Remarkable bosses aren’t great on paper. Great bosses are remarkable based on their actions”.

Here are the 5 according to Jeff…

1. Develop every employee.

I totally agree here that it is the managers responsibility to train, coach, mentor and provide learning opportunities for each and every employee.  By doing this you are showing your employees on a daily basis that they matter and it makes their days better which produces more productive and comfortable employees.  The organization wins here because they are getting constant feedback instead of having to wait for the twice a year formal performance appraisal process.

2. Deal with problems immediately.

Nothing kills team morale more quickly than problems that don’t get addressed. Interpersonal squabbles, performance issues, feuds between departments… all negatively impact employee motivation and enthusiasm and are extremely distracting, because these problems never go away.

As we all know, small problems always grow into bigger problems.  It’s best to not count on the fact that these problems will go away, because at the end of the day someone has to deal with it.  It should be the manager, dealing with the issue head-on, no matter how small.

3. Rescue your worst employee.

Almost every business has at least one employee who has fallen out of grace: Publicly failed to complete a task, lost his cool in a meeting, or just can’t seem to keep up. Over time that employee comes to be seen by his peers—and by you—as a weak link.  Before you consider removing the “dixie cup” from the group, put your full effort into trying to rescue that person instead.   Step up the mentoring and coaching you provide.  A struggling employee has tons of upside; rescue him and you make a tremendous difference. 

4. Serve others, not yourself.

As a remarkable manager you do not need the spotlight.  you have it already.  Your staff, on the other hand, need all the recognition they can get, and face time with senior manager is even more important and their level, so no matter what you to, do not try to take credit for something they have done.  The staff know your contribution and support to them, your team and the organization and trust me, if you’re doing that well, senior management already knows it too.   

When employees excel, you and your business excel. When your team succeeds, you and your business succeed. When you rescue a struggling employee and they become remarkable, remember they should be congratulated, not you.

You were just doing your job the way a remarkable boss should.

5. Always remember where you came from.

I came from an organization which, in my opinion, had terrible management practices, and I went to an organization which had amazing management presence and I took with there all my past experiences about how to not treat employees and made sure not to do any of it. 

I am also very aware of what it’s like being the “new guy” and how people look at you and over time come to get to know you and realize how much you can add to an organizaiton so I make it a policy to always engage the newest employees, ask them questions, talk to them, show them around and give them a work buddy so they don’t ever have to experience that feeling I went through.

I remember where I came from and I know what I hated so it is the responsibility of a remarkable boss to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  Personally, I also try to remember a fact or 2 about each and every employee I come across – along with the correct pronunciation of their names.  It means a lot and it allows me to have a conversation with them beyond “how’s the weather”.

So if you take a step back and look at the support you get from your boss – directly or indirectly – you probably already know what you like about their style and what needs improvement.   Don’t forget the good when thinking about the bad.  for all you know your manager could be trying to improve that too.