12 Admirable Attributes That You Are a Great Boss and Work for One

A few weeks ago, I had reason to give advice to a close friend of mine. She had only been in the workforce at a Trust Company working for two months and was already entertaining the thought of quitting her job and finding a new one.

What was the reason for her wanting to quit her work and career so soon with still another two months of probation left to go? Well, I am so glad you asked. Let’s take a look.

The reasons she explained was that she felt pressured by her boss, who seemingly expected her to know all of the company’s rules, policies and procedures in handling clients incorporation, registration etc. which the boss had not yet shown or taught her.

Whenever she is given an assignment, the boss is constantly checking and asking “did you reply to ‘Client A’s email?” “Did you do this or that?” Answer, “Yes. I did.” ย Boss, “Are you sure?”

She described her boss as being very immature and one who continued to shrug her responsibility of giving her clear, precise instructions and providing clear guidance, and who was constantly being ‘hard on her’ and always made it seem like it was her fault whenever a mistake was made.

She explained the situation as one in which the boss would wait until half an hour before the work day was about to finish and would put bundles of files on her desk and expected them to be completed before the next working day. It turned out she would end up staying back late at the office doing hours of overtime work that she was not paid for.

To sum it all up, she would leave work daily feeling very frustrated, unhappy and even dreaded when the morning came for her to have to face the boss again.

woman tired and stressed1

Why Boss?ย 

For most of my work life, I have always had trouble referring to persons who I directly report to as my boss or have persons at my office referred to me as the boss. Of course I respect the position of authority that is held but always seemed to prefer saying my supervisor or manager. Needless to say, let me explain why.

Saying someone is ‘my boss’ or ‘your boss’ to me always seem to carry a subtle form of management style that have its roots back in colonial times of a slave and his/her colonial slave master. I would even associate boss with someone who simply run the show at the office but required little or no skills and experience to do so.

What would the slave master do? His style is to have the slave work under extremely poor conditions, pile tons of work on the slave, offer minimum wage and then crack the whip over the slave’s back when the work was not done the way they want it or not done in the shortest amount of time. It becomes a cycle!

Now do you see any resemblance with what I just explained and my friend’s story? Tell me about it later on. ๐Ÿ™‚


“A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blames, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.” ~ Russell H. Ewing


Who is really the Boss?

As I was conducting my research for this post, I was quite surprised by the Google keyword search results as you can tell from the screen shot below. ย It does appear to be a trending topic and in this information age, people are definitely seeking for answers on ways to better themselves while in position of authority.

I even had an Aha moment and thought that maybe it’s time that I adjust my way of thinking and that in this modern era, nothing was ‘really wrong’ with referring to someone as the boss. Or, let’s see as we explore more deeply its real meaning as opposed my perceived meaning.

keyword search result for great boss

Definition of Boss

“People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The leader leads, and the boss drives.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

The dictionary, merriam-webster defines boss (noun) to mean:

  1. A person who exercises control or authority; specifically: one who directs or supervises workers.
  2. A politician who controls votes in a party organization or dictates appointments or legislative measures.

Another citation which comes from dictionary [dot] com in the noun states, a boss is a person who makes decisions, exercises authority, dominates… By extension of its meaning in the verb form (used with object)

  • To be master of or over; manage; direct; control.
  • To order about especially in an arrogant manner.

When used in the verb form now (without object) it is expressed as (a) to be boss (b) to be too domineering and authoritative. In the adjective form, a boss is considered the chief; master and the real show stopper for me, the word boss can be used as aย slang.

12 Admirable Attributes of a Great Boss

Having a great boss is something that most of us, if not all of us desire. But is it always that easy to encounter such an honorable person in the workforce? According to Jeanne Sahadi at CNN Money, “having a truly great boss is the exception rather than the rule.”

It is also said when someone quit, they are not necessarily quitting the job; they are really quitting the boss. Or, the employee says upon leaving “the last person I ever want to see again is my former boss.”

So what makes a really great boss? Here are 12 attributes of a great boss that you will find truly admirable.

1. Realize that the success of any organization is through employees and so respect and appreciate them

It is a fact that no man is an island and no man by himself can achieve result that is relative to success and the fulfillment of the company’s overall mission, vision and goals.

Your staff is responsible for getting the bulk of the work done and so even if you are the boss; it is not right that you take all of the credit and not appropriately give credit, respect and appreciation to your staff. Good bosses give credit, say ‘thank you for a job well done’ and are equally rewarded with increased productivity level.

2. Do not micro-manage but delegate and create an environment of trustย 

Have you ever noticed that the people who micro-manage in organizations are often the ones least trusted and respected by employees? The reverse is also true that micro-managers do not respect or trust the employees.

An excellent boss knows however knows that once he has trained the employee, it is time to step back and give the employee the opportunity to handle the task without the constant interference which research has shown undercut confidence and ultimately destroys it. People must be allowed to develop their own style as long as it does not interfere with company regulations.

3. Is a positive thinker

These managers and leaders understand the relation between positive thinking and the power of psychology. They are fully cognizant of the fact that life can sometimes have some sharp learning curves and rather than being negative and pessimistic, they look at every situation as a learning opportunity.great job

4. Is transparent and regard honesty as the best policy

We all know that the truth hurts, right? However, it is better to be honest and tell employees the truth of how they are performing, even if it hurts. In the long run you earn their respect and trust.

5. Effective listener

A boss who always want to be heard and do not want to listen to employees concerns or allow them to finish speaking without interrupting, is domineering, rude and disrespectful.

Great bosses on the other hand hear and take the time to listen which gives the employee a sense of empowerment and significance in the team.

6. Communicateย 

A good boss fosters an environment of good open communication. Provides clear instructions and guidance to employees. He pays careful attention to his tone and his body demeanor when communicating to employees. He not only know how and when to speak but also know when not to speak.

7. Mentor those he is assigned to manage and lead

This attribute is among one of the top skills for managers and leaders who instead of just telling the employees what to do, will show them how it is done.

9. Encourage growth

The beauty about this is life is about learning and growing through our experiences each day. Encouraging growth is a way of ensuring employees learns from their mistakes, as opposed to being afraid of making them.

10. Practice good work ethics and is fair

A good boss will remain consistently fair and practice good work ethics among employees. He is respectful of the fact that every employee need to be treated equally and fairly and deal with problems quickly and directly.

11. Support and give praise

An employee understands the importance of receiving their pay check for the work that she/he has done, but more valued is the praise, the appreciation and the pat on the back from the boss for good work, especially when it is done in front of customers.

12. Promote and encourage work-life balance

Knows the importance of treating people as more than just a resource or asset to the organization and so would promote and encourage work-life balance. The benefit is that people perform better

Infographic-How to Be the Best Boss


infographic source

Your turn, let’s talk it over

What do you think about these 12 attributes of a great boss? Did any of them resonate with you? Do you think the list was exhausted or do you have any that you would like add? Share your thoughts in the comment form.

photos courtesy:

About Yvonne I. Wilson (793 Articles)
Yvonne I. Wilson is known for her prolific, dynamic leadership style with over twenty years in the healthcare industry. She is a trailblazer and a catalyst for change; a positive thinker and someone who is very passionate and optimistic about life. She is mantled as an end-time Apostolic Prophet with an extraordinary spirit of discernment, an exceptionally strong prophetic and healing anointing and a unique gift in prophetic intercessory prayer as she navigates through the realm of the spirit and as she ministers to the nations. With the Agape love of God and His undeniable purpose for which He has called her, God has given her a Prophetic Deliverance Ministry to bring deliverance to His people, to heal the wounded, rejected and emotionally scarred/broken in spirit, to break barriers, old paradigms and false teachings and to rebuild, establish and plant the things of God.

22 Comments on 12 Admirable Attributes That You Are a Great Boss and Work for One

  1. Hey Yvonne,

    One word for your post it’s “Fantastic”. The infographic which you’ve shared is really amazing. I love infographics post. Infographics take little time to understand all the concepts and ideas that’ve shared in post.

    I do agree with all your points that are mentioned. Give respect to employees so you’ll expect definitely good from them.

    A best listener is the person. Communication is so much importance to show your highly presence in work and also co-ordination is vital too.

    I came to know about this post on the ABC forum at
    Thanks for lovely post!


    • Hi Mustafa

      It’s a pleasure to see you again. Thanks for your kind words of encouragement and for your continued support.

      Definitely infographics is about the coolest thing when it comes to conveying concepts and ideas – what do they say, a picture is worth a thousand words right? So there you have it. I love them for all those reasons and more and find that I am incorporating them more into my articles.

      There is a saying that we get in return what we dish out to others and that saying holds true that when a boss shows respect to his employees and listen when they communicate, he is returned the same blessing. Things can be a lot better at the workplace by just following some very basic principles of life.

      The ABC forum at is a fantastic place to be in the blogosphere right now! I love it – very resourceful with quality contents, great interaction among members and strong networking for sure.

      So yeah, have a great day/weekend also.

  2. Another great post Yvonne! I can relate to your friend because I once had a boss like that. I was a dish washer and he would go behind me and check each dish. I thought about quitting also but I wasn’t going to do that unless I had found me another job first. Which I did thank God.

    Later in my career I was blessed to work for a Fortune 500 Company. They didn’t use the word boss we refered to them as coaches. I asked my coach once why the company call them coaches. His reply was they wanted their employees to not feel intimidated. He said they did a study and found that people have a certain perception of a boss.

    Great post!

    • Hi Vernon,

      Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. Appreciate it. I did not reveal in my post what my advice was to my friend, but to sum it all up I said to her, “Do not let go of your stick before you get up the hill and a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush.” Essentially, that’s exactly what your approach was.

      You know in life we will all have tests and trials and God does have a way of putting us in certain situations not to destroy us but to help us to grown, develop and to mature. After maturity, He already has something different and far better awaiting us.

      Great name for a boss coming from a Fortune 500 company and as you’ve indicated it had everything to do about perception of a boss.

      Enjoy the rest of the week. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hello Ma’am Yvonne,

    It’s a wonderful article you’ve setup here on attributes of a cool boss.

    Something similar to your story about your friend happened to a friend on mine, he always tells me, “if you can work with my boss, you can work with anybody”. I guess he needs to see this article.

    You’ve just clarified for me the difference between a boss and a leader, I do appreciate that. This is an article which every boss must read.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Frank

      Wonderful to see you here again and happy that you learned something from it.

      People express themselves in different ways to mean the same thing and that is exactly what your friend was indicating to you. It is clear that his boss is not among the nicer ones. But survival is key – tests and trials make us stronger and help us to learn and grow from such experiences.

      Thanks for your unwavering support. Have a fantastic week.

  4. Hi Yvonne

    Great definition to describe difference between a boss and a manager. Earlier most of the posts simply differentiate between manager and leader just to project the worth of a leader over manager and that too for the sake of inspiring readers to lead instead of just to manage the things.

    I think boss should be everything but must not be bossy in attitude. It is so easy to do the work but to get the work done is heck of the task. It is equally easy to get the things done just to achieve the task but to get it done in the best possible way is really the job of boss and he has to follow all the tips you mentioned in this post.

    Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful and useful list post on an important corporate topic.

    • Hi Mi Muba

      Great to see you again. You have made a very interesting observation and I could not agree with you more. Yes indeed there is a difference between a boss and a manager and if I may add one more, the leader. I see all three with different levels and scope of responsibility. The boss have some oversight yes but he is also more of a hands on person as you readily stated being to get the job done.

      The leader is more of the visionary, is strategic in his focus and the direction in which he is to lead those who follow and while I think there could be some overlapping I believe the manager role is more operational and to ensure the leaders plans are perfectly carried out.

      Thanks for your participation and your continued support. Have a blessed week.

  5. Hi Yvonne!

    Nice post. Appreciations is so important and can make an employee grow. But so many bosses/leaders don’t get it.

    Not everyone is born to be a leader. I know some people who were good workers but once they were thrown into the position of being a manager they were stressed out and didn’t want to deal with the people they were supposed to manage. They would have been better of with an increase in salary and being left in a different position.

    Others lose their mind being in power and become ‘bossy’ in the described bad way.

    I honestly wish all bosses/leaders/managers could be the way you described it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi ilka

      So very thoughtful of you to stop by. I certainly appreciate it . You know there is what we call, “power got to his head” and I think that describe very well the people who become ‘bossy’ once they are placed in the position of being boss/manager. It is a very thin line and not many people handle it well. As you quite rightly said they would have been better off with an increase in salary and given a different position.

      I also think too before someone is hired as a boss that person must have a specific number of years experience and a proven track record. How about that? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Blessings and continue to have a great week.

  6. Hi @Yvonne,

    Nice post ๐Ÿ™‚
    I found that Boss meaning well stated. For me Boss and Leader were same but now I can actually distinguish between the two. A appreciating boss is what everyone needs, isnโ€™t it? I have never experienced a boss but here I can consider a group head as a boss just to relate to the situation. A boss should be delegative. The Boss should be both a good listener as well as a good speaker. But first he should be a good listener. Encouraging, supporting and promoting are some other qualities which can be helpful for the workers.
    Thanks for sharing this post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good day!
    Rohan Chaubey.

    • Hi Rohan

      Great to see you again. ๐Ÿ™‚ Very thoughtful comment indeed! I am also glad that the post helped you to distinguish between the boss and the leader. Essentially, their roles are really different. Very true that we all desire the person managing us at work to be appreciative and grateful for the contribution that we make to the work.

      Thanks for this valuable input. Have a wonderful day/week. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hi Yvonne,
    Again an amazing article here.:)
    I like the way you have explained the story of your friend as how she was about to quit here job and about her boss. You will find different kind of people on work place but what about the perfect boss?
    I love the list you have made here and an infographic. A boss should encourage their employee so that they can work more harder and better. Scolding them is not the solution.
    You have included many points to follow.
    Thanks for writing this article.
    Have a nice week ahead.:)

    • Hi Ravi

      I am glad you found the post useful. The good news about my friend is that after I spoke to her, she was able to focus on some positive aspects about the job as opposed to allowing the negative to dominate her thoughts and her work life. She continues to push ahead with other plans which we are hoping would materialize soon.

      I totally agree that scolding an employee is not the solution to any problem, rather bosses/managers should extend themselves into providing coaching and more training to bring about efficiency in the team.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. Have a great week also.

  8. Hi Yvonne

    This is an awesome post. I wish a lot of business owners can read this most especially in my country where most Bosses behave like Slave masters.

    I agree with you and all the points you have raised about being a great boss. It is unfornate that most bosses don’t respect and show gratitude to workers because they feel like they are doing the workers a favour rather than understand that workers are doing much of the bulk work.

    I love the fact that you talk about micro-managing. I can’t really stand being micro-manged; to me I see anyone with such behavior as one that doesn’t trust anyone. Thanks for sharing and thumbs up.

    • Hi Ikechi,

      It is really a sad thing that even in this day and age, people are still micro-managing and treat their employees like they are doing them some favor as you’ve mentioned. So much has changed over the years, the world has evolved into something none of us could have ever imagined. We are driven a lot by technology, and that pretty much influence the way we do things in business and within the organization.

      Granted there are some who are really doing well and is making an effort to treat employees with respect and to show them gratitude, but then on the other hand there are those who either won’t change or don’t want to see that kind of management style where employees are really treated the way that they should. Deep down I believe it is also about power and control and not wanting to let go as they see it as their role being diminished.

      Thanks for your participation an for enhancing the discussion. Have a blessed day!

  9. Just because someone is good at their job, it doesn’t mean that they are good at managing others. I think there is where the disconnect comes in. People get rewarded by moving up the ranks, but sometime that rank requires responsibilities that don’t mesh well with that person’s personality.

    • Hi DJ Nelson

      It’s my pleasure to welcome you to my blog! ๐Ÿ™‚ I really appreciate it.

      I concur with you that people are still getting positions as boss/manager based on the years they have been with a company, so what you find is that you have a ’round peg’ trying to fit into a square or a ‘square peg’ trying to fit into a round hole. And as you’ve said, they just do not have the right personality for the kind of responsibilities, especially managing people. Smart employees don’t usually stick around anyway. They quickly find a new job.

      Also, these are businesses that have a revolving door where employees walk through as fast as they joined the business. The company continue to loose money as well. The problem as we realize is not necessarily from the employees, but from the ones at the top who lack the necessary skills and are still using a business strategy that was good back then but just won’t work for 2014 or even 2015 that’s just around the corner.

      Thank you for the value you’ve added and hope to see you back again. Have a great week. Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Lots of good info here! Wish there was mandatory training (like getting a license) for a boss or better yet, a leader as your post points out. Much of these points are skills we could all use, but especially those leading others.

    • Hi Doreen

      Welcome to my neck of the woods here online. It’s a real pleasure and I am glad you took the time from your busy schedule to read my post and then comment.

      I am in agreement with your idea that there should have been some way of having mandatory training ie a licence for bosses/managers/leaders. Also, while we know that managing people is not as easy as it seems, a lot of the bosses actions or attitude towards their employees would have been much different if they only took the time through psychology and other behavioral studies to understand how the human mind really work. I think culture also has a lot to do with it.

      Thanks for making that point. Have a blessed day/week. Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hi Yvonne,

    That was a very wholesome post, and as always, well written too ๐Ÿ™‚

    You are right in all that you mentioned about bosses and how they usually are. It reminded me of the few bosses I worked for when I was teaching, and very few would really fit in with what we really expect them to be I would say. I am glad in a way I don’t have to deal with bosses any longer!

    Your points about the attributes of a great boss are spot on, and how I wish they were all that caring and understanding. I guess the personal touch is always missing somehow, and only if they could put themselves in the shoes of the other would they understand what all an employee has to go through. I agree they need to have leadership qualities but as you mentioned, they need to uplift others and be positive thinkers too.

    That sure was a lovely infographic saying it all so well – well done!

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Harleena

      Your comment was so uplifting in many ways, you just made my day!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Actually, lately I find myself wanting to do more and be of more help to others in this area ie. consultancy, counselling and giving advice, coaching and mentoring people.

      Like you, I have had many bad experiences over the years with bosses who for lack of a better word, just sucked! I recall the many times that I went home crying, or would even retreat into the bathroom at work just to pull myself together. I have prayed many prayers too. I am a lot strong and very mature now that even though I am still in public service, I can handle situations a lot better than back then. My faith also keeps me grounded, you know what I mean? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Also as I was writing the post, I was also doing some self-introspection because in the department that I manage, I do have employees who report directly to me and I would not ever want them to find me or think of me as a bad boss. That was my way of doing my checks and balances and anywhere I fall short to work on improving myself. Thankfully, at the moment I can proudly say that I do have a good working relationship with my team.

      Thanks for your kind words of encouragement. Have a great day! ๐Ÿ™‚

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