Some of the items on Sutton's list of 12 things good bosses believe:
- My success depends largely on being the master of obvious and mundane things
- Having ambitious and well-defined goals is important, but it is useless to think about them much.
- Bad is stronger than good. It is more important to eliminate the negative than to accentuate the positive.
- How I do things is as important as what I do.
- Innovation is crucial to every team and organization. So my job is to encourage my people to generate and test all kinds of new ideas. But it is also my job to help them kill off all the bad ideas we generate, and most of the good ideas, too.
The article did get me thinking though, what are some of the most crucial beliefs I would expect to see in a boss/leader that was great? Here's my short (and imperfect) list, phrased as things the boss' subordinates would say:
- They're crystal-clear on the mission of my organization and the role my team plays in it.
- They set clear expectations and give immediate feedback - both on things I'm doing well and on things that I need to do differently - I don't have to wonder where I stand.
- They care about me as an individual.
- They're actively trying to help me develop to be the best that I can be.
- Their main activity is supporting their team as they do the work, eliminating roadblocks and/or providing resources or training.
- They ask me what I think on decisions that are going to affect me.
- They're not afraid to defer to someone, including someone who reports to them, who knows more about the task at hand than they do.
- They strive to keep great people around by letting them work on things that utilize their greatest strengths while fostering a positive work environment.
- They don't ask me to do things they wouldn't do themselves.
- They listen to me and exhibit humility. (Sutton and I agree on this one!)