All I Want Is A Boss That….


Having mentored and coached staff members, leaders and developing leaders across the country, I have heard many common requests when it comes to leadership. Below are listed the top 10 most repeated wishes I have received that staff ask for :

#10: Welcome us when we start. Whether an email, a note, a voice mail left, or a personal visit. Let us know that you are happy about us joining the team, confirming in our mind that we made the right decision. I once knew a boss that scheduled 15 minutes with every new employee the first week of their hire.

#9: Empower us and let us have ownership of projects. Let us feel engaged with the company. If we feel engaged, hours don’t matter, projects don’t matter, we are ‘all in.’ I have known bosses who are interested enough to check in on members when working on projects and see how they are progressing, encouraging along the way. The staff is happy, energized, and is not afraid to spend an evening when needed.

#8: Understand and respect that we have homes, apartments, significant others, some children, and obligations outside of work. Please don’t make comments or suggestions of what I have/don’t have, how I should join the local golf club as the membership is ‘cheap’, where I should/do shop…understand that we are probably on an entirely different level so we need to ensure mutual respect. Please know that I really do want to get home prior to my spouse/children going to bed or eating dinner without me. I have known bosses that stay late, and get angry and make remarks when a staff member leaves at 7 (day ends at 5), failing to realize that perhaps that staff member would like to see their child before they go to bed or have a nice family dinner before homework and bed.

#7: Acknowledge accomplishments that I or my teammates achieve. We get so excited when we know you care. Walk around the office / plant and acknowledge us; know who we are; know a little about us One of the best leaders I have had the honor of knowing is not afraid to manage by walking around and can be found in most any department talking with staff, acknowledging them in person for an achievement.

#6: Care about me as a person, not just as a worker in the company. I have hobbies, interests, outside talents. We may find common bonds. One of the best leadership moments is sending a note/gift card to the spouse of an employee before an extremely busy/stressful time, letting them know that you recognize what they are giving up and appreciate the dedication.

#5: Care about developing me as a person…not just in words, but in actions. Invest in my/my team’s growth and development. Agree to have mentors for me, coaches who believe in me and my strengths and help me understand what is required to get to the next level. If I don’t meet your expectations, make sure the expectations are communicated to me clearly; I need to make sure I fully understand them, and give me the chance to fix it. So many places say they develop and grow, but then never promote from within. Invest in your people. Give them the opportunity and reason to want to stay. Build on their strengths.

#4: Know that I would love to offer more than the job I am currently doing. Believe in me. Encourage me to use my brain and expand and grow. Each morning when I wake up I want to be excited and challenged by going to work. Help me in developing strategy plans so I can contribute more to the company Strong leaders I have worked with hold think tanks, push the team to create the future.

#3: Look at all of us in your company as extended members of your family. We want you to be successful, too. But please don’t forget us along the way. We really do care about you, about the success of ‘our’ company. If we feel a part of it, we will move mountains to make it successful. Have you seen leaders who, upon retiring, turn the company over to their employees? It’s because they became a work family. The team was so vested in the company, it was an extension of family.

#2: Recognize my strengths. Let me utilize the areas I am best in and be able to help the company in the best ways I can. Leaders who focus on strengths to let their staff achieve, have higher energy staff members and more engaged members, less call offs and more focus and commitment.

#1: Remember what it was like when you were in our shoes, to be the worker bee beginning your career. How hurt you felt when not acknowledged,when you didn’t feel part of the team, when a positive note from the boss or an executive would have motivated you to leap tall buildings. Never forget where you came from, and more importantly, how you got there and the feelings you had along the way. If you remember that, you will be a tremendous leader / boss, and I promise, we will do whatever it takes to make you – and the company – successful. These are the leaders who have kept their notebook all these years, the book of what they liked in leaders they had and what they didn’t like. These are the leaders who took their growth seriously and knew that someday, they would have the opportunity to build great teams.

What are some of the requests on the wish lists you’ve had or heard?

Kathy Burrows, Sold Out Seating

for Developing Leader, Strengths Based Leaders, and other workshops or info, contact Kathy at or 440-655-9436

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