You can learn a lot about your own development as a leader by looking into some of the common characteristics people identify with a ‘best boss’ from their past,” says David Witt, Program Director with The Ken Blanchard Companies®. In listening to the responses of hundreds of people to the question, “Who was your best boss, and what was it about him or her that made them so special?” Witt has learned that the answers, though wide-ranging, consistently fall into two main categories.
The first common characteristic is the relationship aspect. “People say that their best boss cared about them, gave them opportunities, created a great working environment, made work fun, and was flexible and supportive.”
Second, there is the performance aspect. “People will share that their work was important, their boss expected a lot from them, and that their best boss saw qualities in them that they didn’t necessarily see in themselves.” It’s the combination approach that makes everything work, explains Witt. One without the other doesn’t get nearly the results that a dual focus does. “The Gallup organization discovered this initially as a part of a second round of their engagement research. In comparing engagement levels with bottom-line impact, Gallup found that engagement didn’t always translate into financial results. It was only when another component was added that the impact was evident. “That other component was clear performance expectations. When clear expectations were combined with high levels of support organizations achieved the consistently high levels of financial performance that the researchers were looking for. This is the place where today’s top companies operate. The dual focus of high support combined with high expectations is what drives results.”