Good Boss Tactics

Below are some Good Boss tactics you can put to use immediately.

  • Determine your values. One of the best starting points to becoming a Good Boss is to spend time deciding your top five values. Your values define who you are and what you stand for. Only when your actions are consistent with your values will people understand you and really begin to respect you as their boss. When your actions are consistent with your values, you become more credible. Here some values to get you started: Empathy, Challenge, Family, Loyalty, Integrity, Discipline, Dependability, Decisiveness, Trust, Happiness, Quality, Simplicity, Courage, Creativity. In the Resources section of you will find a link to a downloadable .pdf with an exercise that can help you determine your values.


  • Spend more time being interested, and less time being interesting. Get to know the people that work for you. As the boss, you represent more than someone who just barks orders. When you get to know people, a bond forms that creates remarkable energy. Yes, you are the boss, but you are also a teacher, a coach, a mentor, and a support system. Boss-ship is a relationship.


  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. This simple, yet seemingly difficult tactic, is arguably the most effective way to be viewed as a Good Boss. Communication is the key to preventing mistakes and increasing productivity. When people are informed, and you are transparent then people feel valued, people feel included, and people feel like they are part of something important. Also, you create a trusting environment.


  • Look in the mirror. In Jim Collins book Good To Great, Collins writes about The Window and the Mirror when referring to Level 5 leaders. He found that the best bosses look out the window to give credit to others when things go well. And they look in the mirror when things go poorly. Taking responsibility like this is the hallmark of great bosses. Blaming someone never solved any problem, it only makes the person who got blamed feel worse. Problems will always occur. How you handle problems says a lot about you and how people will act around you. A Good Boss does not blame to a solve problem, they focus on solving the problem and preventing it from happening again. HINT: Focus on the process.


  • Cultivate an environment of trust. Trust in business, it seems, is unfortunately viewed more as a philosophy than an actual tactic. However, an environment of trust speeds up almost every aspect of a business. This tactic is related to the communication tactic above, because in an untrusting environment people withhold information, fudge figures, and spin stories about problems giving you an incomplete picture and a distorted view of reality. How can you be effective while basing decisions on distorted reality? So if you create an environment where people are not afraid to make mistakes (because if you are not failing you are not learning), and people are not mistreated then information will flow freely and quickly. Trust is actually a competitive advantage when cultivated properly, and is a cornerstone of a Good Boss.