Would you leave your job because of a bad boss?
I could spend hours talking about the excellent bosses that I have had in the past and I could also write for hours about those who have been less good too! Being a boss isn’t easy – management is tough but getting it wrong can really impact how a business develops.
It’s easy to remember those managers who left me uninspired, frustrated and stagnant. I can also pinpoint a few wonderful individuals who I worked for, who positively impacted me, my career and my own leadership style.
So, what was it about the ‘good ones’ that made such a positive impression on me?
In the first 3 years of my career, I vividly remember being forgiven for the small mistakes I made and each time I experienced that forgiveness, I grew. It helped to accelerate my learning process. No-one wants to be told off or made a fool of – the best boss sees a mistake for what it is, works on a solution and collaboratively ensures it doesn’t happen again. Being involved in that process gives a positive message to the individual but also to the wider team.
When was the last time your boss sat down next to you and told you that your work matters and that you are doing a good job? Unprovoked, not in a formal career appraisal meeting, not because you asked them…. Just caught you off the cuff and said well done? The best boss I have ever had made time to do that. It took 2 minutes out of their day, but the impact was like a ripple effect that day and for the following days. It matters to people to know that they are doing a good job.
A boss who leads by example will always be an inspiring character. Bringing the energy required each day and demonstrating to the team the path ahead of them. An excellent boss can inspire you to aim a little bit higher, push harder, stretch yourself. A manager who gives you the wings to do that but the safety net to make small mistakes, is priceless.
The best leaders make sure that you are continuously developing, spotting skills and supporting career routes for you to thrive in the areas that you are strongest in. It may be that they spend time developing you as a leader of the future – knowing that with strong leaders alongside them, they too will become stronger. The environment that a very good manager creates is one of safety – for you to grow. That is relevant at any stage in your career from day 1 to the day you’re striving for a directorship or senior leader role. One of the things that I can vividly remember, from the best manager I have worked for, is that they were not immune to the potential faults in their team members but would always defend them where feasible. In turn, the respect levels from their team were sky high and productivity followed. With the investment made in each team member by the boss – they would ensure that any slight issues were dealt with effectively and they managed to leave the entire team feeling good about themselves.
Happy workers are productive workers and the human brain is complex – the very best bosses can balance their role with the best way to influence the needs of each team member. Great bosses continue to learn and adapt their own methods.
So, in answer to the original point, I am seeing more people leaving their jobs or considering moving jobs because of their relationship with their manager. They are looking for a work environment in which they are happier, valued and more fulfilled.