For as long as I can recall I never remember having a “Bad” or “Mean” or “Jerk” of a boss.  Throughout my working tenure I always had good luck in working for decent people.   The Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, the billionaire commodity trader, the Bankruptcy Partner at the law firm, the IKON copier Manager, the restaurant Manager, the Valet Parking Manager and the Head Counselor at a summer camp were all “Good” bosses.  They were all fair, honest and understanding.  But I have never worked for an “Extraordinary” boss or leader.

If I ever did work for an exceptional, remarkable, excellent, brilliant or outstanding boss, here is what I imagine they would be like:

First, they would view business as symbiotic rather than parasitic.  The concept that customers are a “territory” to be conquered and competitors are the “enemy” would be replaced with the philosophies of “collaboration”, “alliance” and “cooperation”.  The boss would build teams of people that would partner and collaborate with other companies, customers and even competitors.

Second, this fictional leader would never motivate employees with loss of privileges, but rather inspire people to self-actualize and see a greater vision for the company by empowering them to create change and be a part of that change.  Great bosses inspire their employees to share the same vision for the company.

Third this boss would not micro-manage employees; rather commit themselves to serving their reports by providing all the necessary resources for them to produce exceptional work product.  As well as, encouraging them to make decisions, take ownership and learn from their successes and failures.

Fourth, they would view people as the key ingredient to the success and higher purpose of the company, rather than commodities that need to be controlled through rigid rules and regulated systems.  They would inspire people to be the beneficiaries of their peer’s success, the community’s success and ultimately the company’s success.

Fifth, and probably most importantly, they would own the philosophy that change equals growth and is an inevitable part of life.  However, that does not mean that change is always easy and good leaders understand that change is more readily received with effective communication.  Real change happens when it is championed by employees supported by leadership and this is what makes a “perfect boss.”



Author: David Chernow