- In addition to determining the direction of a team or company, bosses have the power to shape what their employees see as the blueprint for leadership.
- Business Insider spoke to 10 employees in an array of fields on what they admire the most about their bosses.
- Bosses providing positive reinforcement and cultivating a culture of celebrating their employees motivates workers to produce their best work.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Oftentimes, an employee can learn an invaluable amount from their boss or manager – and not just about the job at hand.
From seeing how their boss interacts with fellow workers and higher-ups, an employee can soon see what traits they admire in their boss – and how they’re a blueprint for good leadership.
“Being a good leader is not just about doing things for the sake of doing them,” Natasha Case, CEO and cofounder of Coolhaus Ice Cream, told Business Insider. “Good leadership produces a higher quality of work for yourself and your team, and is simply better for business.”
She said when you feel good about what you’re doing, you will be motivated to work harder and show up every day to lead by example.
“This is a much more sustainable growth trajectory,” Case said.
We asked 10 workers to name one thing they admire about their boss. Their answers reflect what some say are the characteristics of an ideal leader, from having an open-door policy and being generous with praise to staying positive and inspiring employees to excel in the job at hand and beyond.
“You can always come and speak to him about anything.”
“Some bosses say they have an open-door policy, but then don’t actually have one,” Mike Gnitecki, a firefighter and paramedic, told Business Insider in an email. “But my boss truly has one – you can always come and speak to him about anything.”
Gnitecki said this helps make his boss a good leader because people are not afraid to approach him with questions or concerns.
“She always makes time for me and other employees.”
“The one thing I admire about my boss would have to be the fact that she always makes time for me and other employees,” Mike Sheety, director of operations at ThatShirt.com, told Business Insider in an email. “This has proven to be incredibly valuable to all of us.”
Sheety said that if there is an issue or something needs to be discussed, it won’t be pushed aside.
“This has ensured a good relationship between the boss and employees on all levels, as we constantly feel heard, valued, and like we’re an important part of the team,” he said.
“It’s extremely rare to find a boss who insists that you’re given credit for all your work, and mine always does.”
Jessica Granofsky, a public relations coordinator for a tech startup, most admires her boss’ genuine interest in her professional and personal development, she told Business Insider in an email.
Her boss has “made a point of emphasising that the effort I put into something is just as valuable as the result,” she said.
Additionally, “I think it’s extremely rare to find a boss who insists that you’re given credit for all your work, and mine always does,” she said.
“I love that my boss laughs a lot.”
Bracha Goetz, coordinator of a Big Brothers Big Sisters program in Baltimore, said she loves the positive work atmosphere her boss promotes.
“I love that my boss laughs a lot,” Goetz told Business Insider in an email. “That makes the work atmosphere upbeat. My coworkers and I can see that she is enjoying her job, so we enjoy our work more, too.”
“I had the amazing fortune to have a boss that did not box me into my initial job title.”
Hiba Beydoun, founder and CEO of 8020Community.com, once worked as a communications specialist for Johnson Controls and reported to the CEO.
“My boss believed in me and trusted me to do the job without micromanaging, which basically led to more creativity and productivity,” she told Business Insider in an email.
“Even though I was a fresh graduate at the time, his trust led me to establish a full-fledged supporting department for the organisation. I became the youngest – and first female – on the leadership team of 3,000 employees.”
Beydoun said the job was a meaningful experience in her life, all thanks to that boss.
“I had the amazing fortune to have a boss that did not box me into my initial job title and allowed me to be ambitious and helped me achieve my vision,” she said.
“I really like that he doesn’t mandate every step of the process.”
Adam Jacobs, a campaign manager at Powerblanket, told Business Insider that appreciates that his boss gives him the tools to accomplish a project, and then lets him run it on his own.
“I really like that he doesn’t mandate every step of the process or micromanage,” Jacobs said. “This is essential to me as a remote worker, where I can better balance the responsibilities I have. Former employers made me log every minute of my workday, which took time and energy away from assignments.”
“She truly cares and provides feedback that genuinely helps you.”
Veronica Concepcion is the marketing head for Biig Technologies Inc., a Silicon Valley-based startup that is led by founder and CEO Charlene Consolacion.
Concepcion told Business Insider that “in a corporate world where everything is about politics, under Charlene’s leadership, you feel like an actual human being without feeling like a robot working for a paycheck.”
Concepcion said her boss is very genuine and transparent.
“Even if she is the CEO, she doesn’t maintain a facade like many CEOs,” Concepcion said. “If you sit down and talk to her, you will feel that she truly cares and provides feedback that genuinely helps you. It makes her leadership work because we find purpose in what we do and feel as though we’re being treated as real people.”
“None of my work went unnoticed.”
Entrepreneur Brittany Hardy said that one characteristic that stuck out from her boss at her old mortgage company was his passion for the job.
“He was able to take an otherwise stressful job and turn it into something I truly loved every day because of his passion,” she said. “He not only had passion for the quality of work we delivered but also for his team and colleagues.”
Hardy said he had a way of taking simple things and motivating the team by thanking them for a job well done.
“Whether it was a random Starbucks gift card on my desk when I arrived in the morning or an Amazon gift card in my email to treat myself to something special, none of my work went unnoticed,” she said.
“These days, I feel people think that we need to be motivated by bigger salaries or more vacation time, but a real leader’s true talent is inspiring other people to rise to their level. And my boss had achieved this every single day. I’ve taken his example with me to help lead my own team now.”
“He notes my contributions in a positive way and is on my side when things go wrong.”
Susan Stitt, director of marketing at Front Edge Publishing, said she admires how her boss is always generous with praise.
“He is outstanding at telling me how happy he is that I am working for the company,” she said. “He notes my contributions in a positive way and is on my side when things go wrong. He is the most appreciative boss I’ve ever had.”
“She always has time to answer a question or provide an additional set of eyes to help out.”
Heather Taylor, the communications coordinator of MyCorporation.com, told Business Insider that the quality she admires most about her boss “is her effortless ability to balance her professional work with her personal life.”
Taylor said her boss comes to work every day ready to roll up her sleeves and work hard alongside her team.
“She always has time to answer a question or provide an additional set of eyes to help out when I, or anyone else on the team, asks for it,” Taylor said.
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