2019 marked a decade of my career in Human Resources. Over this past decade I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of bosses and in some of my roles, I have had the opportunity to manage teams.
So I wrote down a few points about the different types of bosses that I have had and how they have influenced me. Of course, it was almost easier to remember all the annoying traits and the more I thought about them, the more it became clear to me that I have been all those annoying traits to someone else. But first a little more about these amazing boss traits.
Amazing bosses really led their team to excellence and did it with compassion. They were not afraid to fail, they gave solid feedback to help people improve, and they invested time in mentoring. They let their teams own their projects, encouraging innovation and leadership.
They measured outcomes against high standards. Trust was common. These leaders helped their team shine before their own bosses and were comfortable leading with a servant heart. They stood up for their teams, protecting them from fruitless labour. They didn’t feel threatened when their teams knew more than them and were able to accept their mistakes. They created a growth attitude and pushed their teams to new challenges to enable them to become stronger.
They bought treats for their teams out of their own pocket. They let their teams rest on vacations and weekends. They knew their families and bothered to ask about them sometimes. They discouraged gossip and kindled a culture of respectful feedback. They knew how to celebrate successes. These are the leaders that have impacted me so deeply and I strive to be like them.
Now on to some funny traits:
I am always stressed out – I work all the time and expect my team to do the same.
I stress over minute details and I need to please everyone! What if they don’t like me?! is my greatest fear. As a result, I can’t give thorough feedback, can’t handle feedback about myself, but end up making my team rework everything just because someone suggested it.
I am competent so I micromanage. I am always late to meetings because I always “need” to finish “one more thing”.
I know more than you ever will – how dare you try to teach me! I need to reply to all emails immediately – even during sensitive meetings.
You can’t expect me to remember everything and I can’t bear any blame. It is always someone else’s mistake. Be diplomatic with me and praise me all the time, not because I need affirmation but because I truly deserve it – I am the best.
Every one likes me – what’s not to like? I am full of life and I know everything.
I hear no feedback, I change nothing! Don’t innovate and just do it my way.
I can show strategic compassion to make my team feel valued. If someone in my team knows more than me, they will be favoured above the others.
If you make a mistake, I will reprimand you in front of the team so that no one ever thinks of repeating that mistake ever! I love gifts, initiative and people who follow instructions impeccably.
I am laid back and I am awesome. I have a new vision speech every week but can’t seem to follow through on any plans. I think it’s because I am a perfectionist and if I cannot do it perfectly, I won’t do it at all.
I borrow ideas and spin it off as my own, taking credit for work I didn’t do. If I am leading a project, I cannot delegate because no one else can do it a perfectly. It’s okay if I miss important deadlines that impact my team.
I hate confrontation but you can pick up hints from my passive aggression.
I guess we are all combinations of some good boss and some bad boss. Being self aware can help us become better bosses and have lasting impacts in the lives of our teammates. If you have had a good boss, remember to send them a thank you note today.