Once upon a job, I had a great boss. She was the first female boss I’d ever had and she taught me a great deal about being a good manager. She taught me to listen and how to stay focused on an objective. She showed me how to help a team reach difficult goals and how to ask for help. She told me what I was doing wrong and praised me when I deserved it.
The first time I met her she asked me a question that no boss had ever asked me. “What would you like to be doing and where do you think you can make the most difference?” I was blown away by the question and grateful that I had a good answer! If your CEO asked you that question, what would you say?
She spoiled me for the next few bosses I had until one day I realized that I could go shopping for a boss who would teach me things and help me grow. I wanted a boss who could show me how to be responsible for my own professional development and I vowed never to work for someone I didn’t respect or believe I could learn from. I became a boss shopper.
Before I took any job I would listen carefully to the person who would be my boss. Did I think the person was ethical? Would our styles be compatible? Would I be proud of the work I was doing? I always listened to my heart and my gut as well as my head. They haven’t steered me wrong since.
The worst boss I ever had (besides the one who was an embezzler!) was the one who was a micromanager. I got excellent performance reviews but he drove me crazy and I moved on to another job as soon as I could.
While these are difficult times for job hunters, it is still important to know myself and to understand what kind of boss will help me provide the most value to my customers and colleagues.