Recently the New York Times published “How Good a Boss Are You?” The Wall Street Journal came at the
issue differently with “Five Signs You’re a Bad Boss.” These are good articles, well
worth reading, but let me suggest a simple way to figure out how you rate as a
Ask yourself: “Do I enjoy helping my team and my team members succeed?”
If the answer is “no,” you’re probably a bad boss and you may want to find
something else to do. Helping the team and the team members succeed is what your
job is all about and if you don’t enjoy it, the odds go way up that you do a
I’ve been researching what separates good bosses from bad ones for decades.
I’ve trained hundreds of bosses in how to do their job well. There are lots of
techniques we can teach you to handle the core tasks of the job, but we can’t
teach you to like helping others succeed.
Helping the team succeed means concentrating on the important things, keeping
everyone focused on the key job and making sure the work gets done. Helping team
members succeed means spending a large chunk of your day helping them grow and
develop and giving them the freedom to learn from the inevitable mistakes.
You can learn to do this and once you’ve got it, you’ll never go back to your
old ways. But it’s not something anyone can teach you.
Boss’s Bottom Line
Check yourself. Do like helping the team and the team members succeed? If
not, what should you start doing to make it happen?