What makes an exceptional boss?

Author:Wiesner, Pat
Position:Brief Article - Column

EVERYBODY REMEMBERS THE BEST ONE OR TWO BOSSES THEY EVER HAD. What do you and I need to do to be thought of as one of the best?

Recently, I have received a flurry of letters that often sound like this: "For months I have been trying to understand what has happened to my motivation and drive at work. I have been this company's top sales performer for several years, driven and motivated by my own success, or so I thought. I have come to believe my sales manager is an important part of my motivation. The problem is, my new sales manager is a very strong believer in himself, not necessarily in his sales team."

When someone says, "I've got a lousy boss!" listeners usually nod in understanding, because we have all been there and somehow comprehend without much explanation.

But when someone announces they have a great boss, we want to know why. What makes your boss so great? Is he or she doing something that I can do also?

It begins with the concept of "boss" - as opposed to manager or leader. There are managers who become so absorbed managing things, like numbers and call sheets, that they totally miss the human part of the equation. Conversely, there are leaders who are so charismatic that we charge up their hill, only to find nothing at the top of the hill. The leader's plan was bad, and we have misspent our faith.

A real "boss" brings the best of both worlds.

A real "boss" will be very clear on the following four points:

A WORKABLE PLAN. The goal will be exciting. The payoff, if we accomplish the goal, will be worth our hard effort. The plan will be painstakingly thought out. It will be carefully and completely communicated to everyone who will have a part in its success. Everyone involved will have a chance for input and buy-in. It becomes workable when everyone with a part...

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