Best Boss: One Word Descriptions

I just read an article online that described 23 qualities of a good leader in the workplace.  There were lots of qualifications: focus, collaboration, celebration, honesty and on and on.

As I read the qualities, I remembered something that was drummed into my head by former bosses and in business school.  A landmark study was done on why people quite their jobs.  I can’t remember anymore who conducted the study or how old it is;  but it makes such good sense that I have always remembered the key point: the #1 reason people quit their jobs is that they didn’t feel appreciated.

Translated, that means that a great leader, who is usually a boss or “the” boss, needs to appreciate, respect and encourage their staff members.  One of my female bosses used to say that employees are like flowers: they need sunshine and an occasional watering.

Support and validation don’t mean that there is never any conflict or reprimands.  A similar relationship is parents and children.  While parents (big generalization here) are cheerleaders for their children, there are times for instruction, overruling the child’s desires and occasional scolding.  The good parent knows that nipping bad behavior in the bud will ultimately make the child a better adult.  Parents and bosses should manage the negatives with compassion, honesty and helpfulness, rather than raking someone over the coals just because they can.

In that spirit, I put together some of my thoughts on qualities that it takes to be a good leader (or boss) contrasted with the antonyms of those qualities.  This might be a further reminder to all of us of what not to do as we deal with subordinates, partners, vendors…and everyone else in our lives–business and personal.  It can also be a reminder that we probably did learn most of our important life lessons in kindergarden–or on kids’ TV shows!

Do Bee:                                    Don’t Bee:

Compassionate                          Indifferent

A Champion                              Undermining

Respectful                                 Scornful

Supportive                                Oppositional

Thankful                                   Ungrateful

Encouraging                              Dispiriting

Complimentary                          Critical

Appreciative                              Neglectful

Empathetic                               Intolerant


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