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Good Boss, Bad Boss: How To Identify The Two



habits of highly effective leaders

In a world where just about anyone has the right to become a manager or CEO, leaders seem to be a rarity. It’s not only important to discuss what differentiates a leader from a manager, but also how a leader’s tendencies affect their team. When realizing that leaders influence the individual lives of everyone on their team, it’s relevant to discuss that there is a much greater task at hand than supervising and delegating. It’s also important to note that most bosses emitting poor leadership are unaware of their faults. With genuine open-mindedness, this is easily improvable.

The primary issue with poor leadership isn’t necessarily how it drives business – it’s the toll it takes on employees. Only 6% of employees say they feel a connection to their work amidst having a terrible boss – the remaining 94% of employees hold opposing views. To emphasize this point, an employee’s inner respect for their boss accounts for 14% of their engagement at work. In short, and on average, poor management drives employees to 1) hate their job, 2) dread coming into work, and 3) put in less effort on the clock. We’ve all been there, and it’s okay to discuss as far more employees experience this than we like to discuss.

Get this: 70% of employees consider their manager good, or great – but nearly 2 in 3 people have quit their job due to disliking their boss. 77% of employees with bad managers plan to leave their job within the next year, while 18% consider their manager good and are leaving for reasons unrelated to management.

More specifically, how do employees describe a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ boss? Great managers are described as leaders with qualities of being honest, supportive, trustworthy, respectful, and communicative. Bad managers are described as self-absorbed with selfish, lazy, rude, arrogant, and untrustworthy tendencies. 

Saying this, be a leader, not a manager. Rear Admiral Dr. Grace Hopper provides a great motto to aide in this, “You can’t manage men into battle. You can manage things; you lead people.” By definition, management is a foundational skill to becoming an effective leader, but leadership requires its own set of skills. Have a clear purpose. This makes your passion contagious to your team. Hold yourself accountable in leadership because the reality of the matter is: your employees hold yourself to a higher standard than most others. Be flexible with your determination and have a sustainable outlook. It’s also important to have dual focus so that you can plan strategic details important for your team’s success.

Overall, being a better boss comes down to building a strong team as they are your strongest support team. Simply putting your relationships at – or near – the top of your priorities is a great way to practice this. Showing an interest in your team’s personal life outside of work and staying positive is a great way to focus on relationships.

58% of workers would choose a great boss over a higher salary – all the incentive you need to improve your approaches in leadership. Keep reading for further insight on the benefits of refraining from micromanaging, sharing the credit with your team, and more. 99% of great managers are liked personally and respected professionally by their employees – it’s very doable to find your way to great leadership

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency , based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019. Follow Brian Wallace on LinkedIn as well as Twitter.