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Three Simple Rules for Being a Boss You’d Want to Work For

Posted 6 years ago on · Permalink

By Janet Boccone

Bad boss

Don’t let this be you.

Whether you’re a small business owner with a handful of employees, or the head of a department in a large firm, effectively managing staff can often seem like the biggest challenge of your workday.

While a quick Google search will land you endless secrets, tips and tricks to being a good boss, it has been my experience that the people who make the most effective bosses follow three simple rules.

These rules aren’t anything new. In fact, you probably first learned them years ago from your parents, teachers or coaches. I know I did. But learning them and practicing them every day are two entirely different things. I can recount vividly the moment when each person I’ve worked for either followed a rule or broke it. Through their actions – or lack thereof – my bosses taught me a great deal about my work self and inevitably, about what kind of person I want to be in every aspect of my life.

  1. Take responsibility.

If you’re going to take responsibility for the successes in your business – be it a big new client or a great idea – you have to be willing to own your mistakes and admit when you’re wrong. Passing the buck or playing the blame game will lose you the respect of your peers and your employees. I gained immense respect for my first boss after he admitted in front of a room full of his employees that he should have taken the advice of one of his salespeople instead of moving forward with an idea of his own. With just a few sentences, he made his employees feel valued and by taking responsibility for the loss of business, he gained the respect of everyone in the room. This brings me to the next rule.

  1. Lead by example.

It’s the little inconsistencies that can chip away at your staff’s opinion of you over time. Don’t just demand your employees work together as a team, show them how to resolve issues in a collaborative manner by demonstrating active listening and providing constructive feedback.

If you want your employees to value your time, be respectful of theirs, as well. That means showing up to meetings on time and sharing in the sacrifices you ask others to make. After all, it’s difficult to disrespect a boss who is willing to roll up his/her sleeves and wade into the trenches when needed.

  1. Keep your word.

This rule is so simple, so obvious; you’d think it didn’t need to be said. But nothing kills employee morale more than a boss who doesn’t keep his word. Don’t make promises you can’t keep; make commitments your staff can depend on you to live up to. Like all relationships in your life, if you don’t have trust, it’s just not going to work out.


Janet Boccone is her own boss at Second Glace Writing Services. You can find out more about her at