Let me start out by prefacing that, admittedly, I recognize we all have secrets we keep from our bosses. You could argue they’re more of an omission; like mental health days are considered sick days, right? But, I’d venture to guess that many of these inadvertences are insignificant in the grand scale of what truly matters to our bosses, managers, and corporate leaders (or at least I hope so!). Well, that’s not what we’re discussing today. My confession is just that. It’s a truth about that I’ve come to realize about my bosses that I’ve never been able to admit to until now.Good bosses are hard to find. There, I said it. And I’m definitely not the only one who thinks it. Workplace morale is down, with 70% of Americans expressing negativity towards their jobs. The primary culprit: untrained, disengaged bosses that don’t recognize or cultivate talent that is right at their fingertips.
So what gives? When I look at my past professional experiences, the first thing that comes to mind isn’t the variety of ubiquitous perks or free food and beverage; it’s the people. If you think about it, good managers breed a positive and healthy work environment by nature. It’s their eye for talent and ability to groom employees that makes work a genuinely fun place to be. I can easily recall in past jobs I’ve had where, in the good days as well as bad ones, it was the people that kept my spirits high. When the going gets tough in your organization, do people run out the door or do they weather the storm?
Which begs the question: what is it that makes us fall in love our managers? Not in the literal sense, of course. What characteristics differentiate an okay manager from a great leader? With this in mind, I pulled a few articles to see what’s inspiring the managers of today; at least on the digital front.
Inspiration for Today's Leadership (according to Google search results):
- 6 Fundamentals That Can Make You a Better Manager
- How to Be a Good Manager (with pictures) – arguably the funniest
- 7 Traits to Turn Good Managers into Great Managers
At the end of the day, I don’t believe one boss can be inspiring to everybody. Like nearly every facet of our lives, the majority of us come to expect, dare I say, demand, a personalized experience in every sense of the term. I think managers of the future will have to work even harder to gain the respect and appreciation of their employees.
Throughout my career I've had the fortune and the fortitude to work for many a small to mid-sized business. My professional twenty-somethings were spent at the right hand of the owner of XYZ Company. During that time, I followed what felt like the sink or swim school of business. With each job title, came an abundance of new and unfamiliar responsibilities; many of which I considered well above my pay grade. Frustrated with my bosses, I stressed, I complained, and I misinterpreted their confidence in me as an oversight or momentary lapse in judgment.
Now, as I begin to develop my own management style, I respect what those bosses did for me. Looking back at it, I knew they were counting on me, and so I had no choice but to believe in myself. And this attitude is infectious. The teams I’ve worked with, as small as they often were, were always tightly bound because of the tone leadership set.
I’m not going to lie and say that I agree with every decision my bosses made. Nor, do I think anyone should for that matter. After all, anyone who really knows me understands that I come with equal parts opinion, eagerness to learn, and stubbornness. To me, a good boss is being able to truly relinquish power to your team. Be it warranted or a blind leap of faith, it is what makes a good manager an inspiring leader.
About the Author: This blog was written by Alexandra Calukovic-Deck, aka the Marketing Guru, a digitally-driven marketer. Claims to fame include the longest possible last name ever, certifications in Strategic & Inbound Marketing practices, and lover of all things Philadelphia.