While I’m not a huge fan of lists of suggestions, I find that sometimes they can be useful as a quick overview, without giving them too much weight. In this case I’m making a list from two articles by Jeff Haden on exceptional bosses.
One list is how the person should be:
- Believe the unbelievable
- See opportunity in instability and uncertainty
- Wear your emotions on your sleeves while staying professional
- Protect others
- Lead by permission, not authority
- Embrace a larger purpose
- Take real risks by sailing uncharted waters
The other is about the things the person should do for others:
- Give autonomy and independence
- Set clear expectations
- Give meaningful objectives
- Give a true sense of purpose, that purpose you’re achieving together
- Give opportunities to provide significant input, and listen to it
- Create a real sense of connection with people respected and admired
- Be consistent and transparent
- Give the more personal criticism in private
- Praise in public
- Help personal growth
One thing that is interesting to me is how these items are in a sense a foundation of good, professional work. You don’t have to be higher in hierarchy to do all these things. You can to it every day, among peers. Of course, the hows can change from role to role, but still, you can do it.
This mental shift is in my view very important. We should all do that. Take away that “boss” label and just do it, from person to person. Every day.