The idea of the ‘perfect boss’ is compelling, but realistically it demands attributes that no human can aspire to – no one is perfect!

And what is deemed to be boss ‘perfection’ in one employee’s eyes may be different to another. So what practical steps can you take to be a good boss that people will value and respect and help develop a great career for yourself in the first place?

Boss

There are a few basic rules which offer tried and tested methods for getting the most from your role and the people who work for you.

Be Consistent

A good boss is a consistent boss. So if you’re lavishing your team with praise one minute and then berating them the next, you’ll get a reputation as being unbalanced.

Be consistent in your expectations, clearly define them and manage your team’s work. Show fairness between individual members and always remember that temper has little room within a professional environment.

Show Appreciation

A good boss recognizes that it’s his people who deliver for him or her. So the ideal boss will focus hard on building up a team of good people, helping them to develop themselves and their careers, praising them for work well done and sharing that recognition widely so that their efforts are appreciated and noted.

A good boss doesn’t hog the limelight, but shares it amongst those who deserve appreciation – realizing that his or her success is implicit in the good work of the people within the team.

Delegate

A good boss doesn’t make the mistake of attempting to control and do everything but rather delegates work fairly amongst team members, allowing them to take responsibility, do their jobs to a high standard and develop as they go.

Team meetings are an ideal way to manage delegation effectively, along with good systems and processes. Even creative teams need a structure to work within and a good boss will recognize this and provide the framework and expectations.

Communication and Team Work

A good boss will be an expert communicator and know how to communicate with a range of people in a range of situations. He or she will make time to talk to the team and engage them to foster a sense of team spirit.

Building a team takes skill and time and many people appreciate small gestures such as a round of drinks at the pub on a Friday after work, flowers to recognize the completion of a project or a simple chat and fervent thanks during a one to one meeting.

Authenticity

Above all, successful bosses are authentic – in their passion, devotion and commitment to the role. They don’t expect things from their staff that they wouldn’t be prepared to give themselves – whether that’s working hours, commitment, discretionary effort or another success factor.

A good boss will be human and approachable and bring their personality to the role, but they will also be entirely accountable for the team and support individuals within it wherever possible.

A good boss is often noticed by a good team. So rather than seeking to further your own career by promoting your individual efforts, focus on developing, nurturing and promoting your team and your talents as a manager will shine through in the process.