Can you think of the best boss you ever had? What were they like? What kind of leadership qualities did you glean from them?
If you can’t think of one, why not?
In Sydney Finkelstein’s book Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent, he gives five characteristics that make every great boss stand out. Finkelstein coins these great leaders as “Superbosses” and describes them as “great coaches, the igniters of talent, and the teachers of leadership in most industries.”
Here are 5 Qualities that Every Memorable Boss Must Have
- Extreme Confidence. Superbosses are fearlessness when it comes to expanding their agendas and ideas. Their mantra goes like this: “there are no problems, only solutions.” There is no status quo, run of the mill way of living. It’s either all or nothing.
- Competitiveness. Memorable bosses thrive and seek after competition. They strive to be better and greater in every area of their lives, especially their career. Competition, however, isn’t simply about winning, it’s about motivation and drive. The most memorable bosses live their lives like a game to be won. Their drive inspires those they lead to be the same. They are committed to their craft and art and nothing will get in the way.
- Imaginative. Simply put, the best of the best bosses are visionaries and dreamers. They believe in potential and help those they lead strive for a better future. We get fired up when they turn their dreams into reality and when we get to be a part of it. Superbosses know how to ignite both talent and vision.
- Integrity. This quality is a no brainer. Who wants to work for a fraud? But Finkelstein goes beyond “honesty”. Memorable bosses don’t need to satisfy their egos by “playing games” like some leaders do. Superbosses are more concerned about their work and art than “saving face” to their peers. They remain consistently true to themselves, their beliefs, and their values.
- Authenticity. Last but not least, leaders in the past were taught to “keep a tight lid” on their personalities and personal lives. Superbosses, however, remain authentic to the degree they are able to. They learn how to win their employees trust by taking the first step to break the facade of being “super human”, despite what the title superboss implies. Authenticity allows these memorable bosses to be known and understood.
Do you see these traits in your boss or in previous bosses you've? If so, what was it like working for them? If you’re currently a boss, which qualities do you have and in what ways do you want to develop?
But here's the truth. These qualities don't happen instantaneously, nor do these “super human” qualities develop in a vacuum. It's all about intentionality and consistency.
Here are a few tips on how to develop these traits so you too can become a superboss one day!
1) Focus on Feedback
Don’t wait for the once a year annual review. Ask for regular feedback. Receive and deliver thoughtful and constructive feedback. It’s not enough to just think you’re doing well. Prove it but asking for what others think about you.
2) Learn from those Around You
Whether you’re new to your company, middle-management or the CEO, choose to surround yourself with those who are smarter, more experienced or more talented than you are. If you are the “biggest fish in the sea”, that’s probably not a good spot for you to be in. Memorable bosses seek other memorable bosses. Choose to learn from the best.
3) Recognize Areas of Growth
What is one of the five qualities that you want to grow in? Leadership is about awareness and a proper view of one’s self. Identify one area where you want to be intentional and find resources to grow in those areas. Remember, memorable bosses never settle for mediocre; they only strive to be the best!
If this post intrigued you, you may consider picking up your own copy! Click HERE to buy Sydney Finkelstein’s book Superbosses: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent.