Leadership Qualities of Our Favorite Bosses
Everyone has their version of an ideal boss. Friendly, supportive, demanding — no two lists will ever be alike. And we already know that supervisors can make or break an employee’s experience at the workplace. According to our Employee Retention Report:
- Workers with respectful managers are 32% less likely to think about a new job
- Micromanaged employees are 28% more likely to think about a new job
- Strong management transparency leads to 30% better employee retention
Employees want to work with a boss that they admire or inspires them. But since there are so many different leadership qualities that determine a great boss, and everyone has their own opinion, I asked people around the TINYpulse office to recall their favorite bosses. Here’s what they said:
Neal M., Communications Manager
The best boss I ever had was also a boss who nearly killed me several times because of how unhappy he was with my work. Despite our occasional differences, there were several times where he stood up for me (this was a newspaper, and we got legal and other threats all the time) like no one ever has. He also had a very tight moral code, and would always make decisions based on whether it would serve the public good. I learned more from working for him than I have at any other job.
Morgan N., Customer Success Manager
BJ has been the best boss I’ve ever had, and I’m not just saying that based on recency bias. What makes him such a great boss is that he trusts his team members to do the job they were hired to do — no micromanaging. He always makes himself available for questions — no judgment. He comes off with the approach that he’s always learning alongside with us and encourages team collaboration without an attitude that it’s “his way or the highway.” He genuinely cares about the personal well being of his team and goes out of his way to make sure they are successful. BJ recently took it upon himself to help one of our newest team members research and find an apartment since he was new to the area and didn’t know anyone. This was not necessary but BJ wanted to make him feel welcome and comfortable both at his new work and new home.
Kevin N., Head of Marketing
The best boss I ever had hired great people who were passionate about our mission and empowered us with resources, budgets, and the freedom to innovate and try new things. He operated from a default position of trust that you started with and maintained through your results. He was in high contrast to another “best boss” who was hard-charging, demanding, made the right calls, and led us to some amazing wins. In his world, you had to earn his trust every day. He was also trying to wake up a slow-moving culture, so his intensity and daily focus on results were required by the situation. My stock options were worth a lot more with the later, more demanding boss.
Matt T., Customer Success Manager
I can honestly say that BJ is the best boss I’ve ever had. He is extremely smart, yet extremely humble. He’s always positive and fair. He gets me to put in my best work every day by putting in his. He is very perceptive and always willing to listen. He says “thank you” or gives compliments to others in the office at least 10 times a day (I’ve counted). Most of all, he empowers me to do my job effectively by treating me with respect. I’ve never respected a manager as much as I respect him. He cares about me as a person, not just as an employee, and it clearly reflects in the way he manages.
Tyler L., Account Executive
I recently had the opportunity to work with my favorite boss to date. As the SVP of sales and alliances, he had a great deal of responsibility on his plate and not as much time as he needed to accomplish everything. However, he committed himself to his employees and would put off work that most of us do in the office to late at night to ensure he made time for me. He acted as a buffer between me and executive management, effectively insulating me from some of the noise that can discourage or derail complex enterprise engagements. Most impressive of all, he came to work with a smile on his face every day — laughed easily — and made me feel like I was trusted, valued, and irreplaceable.
Jacob L., Customer Success Associate
BJ is the best boss I’ve ever had, without a doubt. I thought in the past that I had good bosses here and there, but he completely blows any of them out of the water. If you look up the word “Awesomesauce” in the dictionary, you’ll find BJ’s picture right there next to it. I couldn’t have asked for a more encouraging, positive, and motivating boss. He challenges me to be a better employee and always knows the best ways to provide constructive feedback. Not to mention he’s hilarious. I hope he stays my boss for many years to come!
From what we can see, great bosses range from compassionate to demanding. But it all really comes down to trust. A leader who trusts their employees to do their work creates a bond of mutual respect.