Sitting at lunch Rick and I were reminiscing about the many bosses we have had and tried to figure out what made them good or bad.
My first was an editor of a daily newspaper who growled and terrified me, but in retrospect was kind and always willing to teach me.
One boss threw a waste paper basket at me, and shortly after I quit, not being fond of flying objects that could hurt me. He ended up in a mental hospital.
I was making an international move and he thought it fair. Despite the fact that he usually had one of his employees in tears weekly or more often, he was scrupulously honest. I did not miss working for him and stayed as long as I did because he held my working permit.
In my next job I once again could eat an apple at my desk my old boss was not there to be bothered by the crunch.
My last boss I really respected, liked and wasn't afraid of as most of the staff were. However, I hated having to tell him one of my direct reports had messed up big time and what we were doing to correct it. He approved of my plan.
"Just don't let it happen again," he said
"I won't. I dreaded telling you," I said.
He sat back in his chair and smiled. "I know." And that was the end of it.
Our good bosses we decided told the truth, didn't play political or emotional games, left us alone to do our jobs with clear outlines of what was expected and gave us the tools and freedom to really contribute. It should be simple, but it isn't.
Flying wastepaper baskets and apple limitations