How To Be A Good Boss: Top 10 Traits Of Good Bosses

If you want to send your company our team on a journey to success, it starts with your behaviors. Learn to be a great boss by following these rules and using the Entrepreneurial Operating System’s® proven toolbox to achieve more with less stress.

1. Create A Culture Of Honesty

Nothing, and I mean nothing, in your business will go as planned if your employees aren’t honest. If you want to be a good boss, first you have to know what’s happening in your company.

Build a company culture that rewards honesty, especially for hard or ugly truths. Encourage and empower your employees to be 100% up front about problems, issues, or concerns about their job or others in the work place.  If someone is dropping the ball or a project is going to tank, you need to know in advance, so you can step in to fix it.

Workplaces with dishonesty are workplaces where people get blindsided.

2. Create And Live By Core Values

Core Values are the non-negotiable language of behavior on a team. By setting Core Values you let people on the team know exactly who you are looking for.

You should be honest about these values. If you are looking for real face-biters, you shouldn’t go establishing the Core Value of “peace and tranquility.”

Once you’ve set the behaviors and characteristics you are looking for, you should always be the best example of those. Nothing undermines a value system like having a hypocrite at the top.

3. Be Clear On Expectations

Be clear and concise when communicating your expectations. Your team should know exactly what you need from them and when. Giving them an exact picture of success increases a team member’s overall happiness and greatly increases their chance of succeeding at a task.

Simply put, if someone knows how you define success in a project or task, they will shape their behavior to achieve it.

4. Keep People Accountable

Good bosses don’t just assign tasks, they follow up. Create goals that have time sensitive milestones and keep track of this progress.

Communicate to team members what these milestones are and require that they check in. This gives you a perspective on their progress and the ability to step in if needed.

Additionally, when people are held accountable for a task, when they know there is a reckoning, they are substantially more likely to complete their task. Schedule a time to perform these project or task updates regularly and publicly.

5. Keep Focus On The Task, Not The Person

When a task or project is off track, a good boss gets focused on the task, not the person. It’s easy to play the blame game. Bad bosses just sit there and let a team member fail, so they have a scapegoat later.

To be a good boss you must react to signs of an off-track task or project proactively. Divert resources, aid in the work, and do what it takes to make sure the project gets done.

You can deal with the employee later, if necessary.

6. Empower

A good boss is always looking for ways to help their employees succeed. This can be paying for training, fighting for more resources, or even helping them get that raise.

Teams that succeed do so because their leader is always looking for ways to empower the team members. They’re the ones who are doing the dirty work. The easier you make that job, the more likely you are to see them succeed in it, and the happier you’ll all be.

7. Hire The Right People And Trust Them To Do The Job

Micromanagement isn’t just annoying, it’s poisonous to actual success.

Good bosses hire the right people the first time. They search for people who fit their company’s values and have the capacity to succeed at a job. Then, they get out of the way and let the person do exactly that.

When you are second guessing or micromanaging your employees, it means you don’t trust them. So, either you need a person for the job, or you need to reexamine your own leadership style.

8. Provide And Ask For Feedback

Good bosses let people know how they are doing. This helps good people get an understanding of what is expected so they can adjust course if necessary. You owe it to the people that work for you to let them know if there is a problem. Otherwise, how can they fix it?

9. Praise Publicly And Often

When someone does a good job, the whole team should know. Failures get passed around, they are impossible to keep private. To keep the scales balanced you need to make a big show of rewarding those who do well.

Send out a congratulations email, hand out some PTO, put their picture on the wall. Do whatever it takes to let people know that success comes with a reward.

10. Hold Everyone To A Standard

No one is above the law. That includes you.

Jeff Whittle Dallas EOS Implementer

Meet the Founder

Jeff Whittle founded and launched Whittle & Partners in 2011.  Before that, Jeff practiced law in Dallas for 15 years and has an additional 20 years of executive business experience. He has run businesses ranging from startups to 300-employee operations.