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Great post. One thing I would add - asks what you have learned from them and what you want to learn more about.


This is a good list. The list applies to the situation I am in now. She does all of this,but I had earn it, somewhat, by doing putting out good work, but also the boss has to have it in them to do it,because I have had it where I put out good work and got treated badly no matter what. Bottom line, you have to do good work,but they have to be a good person.


A good boss makes a safe environment for expressing frustration or dissatisfaction. Any boss can be supportive when everything's hunky-dory; when an employee is frustrated, out of suggestions for creative solutions, and running thin on patience, a truly good boss can remain supportive.


Very, very good list. I wonder if a boss like that ever has to complain about employee loyalty?


A good boss makes sure the channels of information-sharing are open and stay open. She makes sure contributors are on the same page and works to avoid silos and info-hoarding among staff.


These may be seen as rehash, but I think the subtle differences below matter.

1. A good boss may not know exactly how to do your job, but knows enough to keep checking in when making decisions about deliverables. A bad boss relies on 'SMEs' with belief that he/she knows the larger picture and can speak for them.

2. A good boss gets to know what is truly important to you in your work life and career process.
Some might add your personal life, but I do not know that this applies broadly enough given the conversations and interactions I have been a part of.

Garrett Brothers

This was very interesting to me due to the fact that I have seen all ends of the spectrum of good and bad bosses. Your top ten list does a good job of getting to the roots of what makes a boss either a total jerk and one that is good and also effective. I feel that effective bosses are also generally good bosses. Things that make them effective are things that are subtle and difficult to notice such as 3. Sticks-up for you behind your back and 7. Is respectful of your time. If more bosses found this list and took it to heart I feel like many struggling companies would see an immediate benefit.

Joe Marchese

Great list, Bob. Of the many wonderful comments, I am most aligned with the item from Anese about acknowledging you for who you are and not just what you do. There's a big difference between seeing a 'person' and seeing a 'resource'.

Ann Seynhaeve

1. A good boss should really make the effort to know his job the best he can so that you don't have to prevent him making stupid mistakes all the time
2. A good boss shouldn't give you the constant feeling that he's manipulating you because he has maybe a hidden agenda



We appreciate all of your work and dedication to strengthening leaders.

Thanks for highlighting the key "intangibles" in your post that bosses do to make a difference.

Additionally, may I suggest that great bosses, each day, every day - practice the discipline of creating a winning environment where people's best thinking and action can truly deliver extraordinary results; even when it means making the tough calls.

Judy White, SPHR, GPHR, HCS


Creates a climate that allows employees to (respectfully) challenge ideas - particularly those of the boss.

Mike Thomas

Thanks for your continued guidance.

#1 A good boss asks what she can do for you to help you and your teams succeed.

#2 A good boss rewards failure by coaching you through to the next challenge.


A good manager gives you realistic but ambitious targets, convinces you that you can reach them, challenges you a bit, tells you that it is ok to make mistakes.

Project Management

A good boss" when a project becomes a failure, He makes his move to extend deadlines and give you time to review it. on the contrary, a bad boss just fired you on the same day..sounds really funny buts its true..

Eric Schwarzrock

Leads by example. I appreciate a boss that can get the job done and surprise me with their own knowledge from time to time.

Yathi Yatheepan

Good bosses reward the employee for the extra ordinary work he/she did. This can be in the form of a monetary reward or a valuable gift. This award is usually presented in a meeting or group gathering so that the employee gets the credit too.

In my opinion, a boss is a good boss if he/she does not micro manage activities, don't watch from behind the shoulder and question, giving appropriate credit to the employees rather than claiming that it is he/she the only force behind success. The rest is complementary. Also a person who thinks he/she is a wonder man who can walk on the water is the nastiest creature in the world to work with.


Doesn't ask you to be a go'fer for things that they can do for themselves.

There is a book "Micro Messaging" by Stephen Young that gives great examples of things that bosses do, some times without intent,that can make you feel great OR or destroy your faith in them.

I'd also second Melissa and Chris's comments above.

get paid for surveys

Great post. All the things in the lists are correct. But there are still bosses who forgets these things. Hope they can read your post.

Marc Luber

Great post! It's always a good sign when a boss asks whether there's anything he or she can shed light on that you're looking to learn about the career path, the company, etc.


Your boss really cares about you when he/she makes it safe for you to say that you're thinking of leaving for another job. (Some would fire or demote an employee for such disloyalty!)

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