21 Top Qualities That Great Bosses Share

by Victoria Mckee

One of the essential parts of a company’s success and excellent employee performance is being an outstanding leader to employees. Unfortunately, we find more stories of irritating bosses over good ones, and you can probably pinpoint the worst traits a lousy boss has. We’ve all been there!

That boss can be an arrogant show-off taking all the credit, an obsessive perfectionist that forces you to redo everything or a crabby one who’s just plain mean. You definitely wouldn’t want to be like that once you’re in charge yourself.

That must make you question the qualities that great bosses share and what you can follow. It isn’t as easy to identify the best traits of a boss since we’re all used to the bad stuff. But we help and list it down for you, so read on!


Top Qualities That Great Bosses Share

How do you define a great boss? We usually end up with irritating bosses, so knowing what constitutes a good one can be challenging. Whether you’re curious or want to practice becoming a great boss and leader, here are the qualities to focus on:



Top Qualities That Great Bosses Share

Without honesty, there is no trust. Without any trust, then you have nothing! Honest communication offers numerous benefits, such as navigating roadblocks, providing clear direction, and allowing employees to feel more confident in their leader and company.

Not only should you have honesty, but integrity. These two traits work hand-in-hand.


Ability to Mentor

Hiring managers aim to hire employees already skilled in the specific requirements of the position they applied for. Bosses won’t usually need to teach employees how to perform their jobs and duties, but they are instead tasked to align employees with the company and culture.

This would often include teaching how things are done in the specific position based on the company processes. When bosses provide the necessary coaching for employees to execute their roles successfully, employees become more capable and willing to seek help when needed. Moreover, they will have better abilities to identify and correct any problems or errors compared to leaving them to figure things out themselves.



Supervisors must motivate teams to reach productive outcomes and motivate employees individually. That means a good boss should be able to listen and identify employee needs and interests and adequately identify and capitalize on strengths. Great bosses should also partner with employees to find more growth opportunities.


High Emotional Intelligence

In a transitioning workplace, a high EQ (emotional intelligence) is a crucial trait of a great boss. A boss needs to know how to discern between their personal beliefs and the beliefs and thoughts of other people and generations. Yes, that includes boomers, xennials, Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z).

This is important when leading and motivating staff to achieve, directly tying into the psychology of attaining goals.



Employees must trust their boss to have their professional interests at heart, balanced with the company’s best interests. Moreover, a great boss should trust their employees to create the best choices based on what they know, ask questions whenever unsure, and have the company’s best interests at heart.


Can Deliver Open and Honest Feedback

We all have weaknesses and room for growth, but we’ll never recognize them unless someone else brings them to light. Often, we stay silent as we see room for growth in others, as we fear hurting feelings.

However, bosses are in the best place to identify and speak about such weaknesses to their employees in a positive way. It’s best for bosses to share such information and to share it as soon as possible so their employees have room to grow.

Some people may feel afraid sharing their feedback with employees, but remember that giving them proper feedback helps establish a great relationship. There’s a sense of conversation, cooperation, and leadership, and it’s the boss’ responsibility to coach and develop employees from what they see so they can learn and meet requirements.



A great boss inspires their employees to be their best selves. They must be able to identify an employees’ best qualities, bringing them out. Moreover, they need to pinpoint opportunities for growth, share them constructively, then help develop plans for improvement.


Sets Performance Expectations

Research suggests employees experience increased stress levels when they don’t correctly understand what’s expected of them. It’s crucial for a good leader to set performance expectations clearly and provide specific job descriptions,


One of the most important skills leaders should have self-awareness. This sounds like a simple trait, but just because a boss has a title doesn’t automatically mean they intuitively know how to be a good leader.

Leadership requires understanding that employees are motivated differently, and what personally drives some people may not do the same with others.

For instance, a leader may love public recognition. Because of that, he would likely reward employees in public forums with the entire company attending. However, not everyone would appreciate this form of appreciation. It’s vital to recognize that team members may prefer a whole different approach.

It may be an email from the CRO expressing their accomplishments, which is quiet but powerful. Others may appreciate other gestures. Leaders should remember that everyone feels motivated differently, and their decision to feel engaged is from the heart and not the mind.


Supportive and Recognizes Efforts

No one wants to work with a problematic and uncaring boss. A leader is kind, caring, helpful, and compassionate. That doesn’t mean you should be a pushover, though. This means you should feel confident enough to show your human side.

Employees working with a supportive boss are more likely to feel happier and less stressed, thus having a higher work output.

Furthermore, a great boss will always find an opportunity to acknowledge and recognize their employees’ excellent work. May it be through certificates, awards, luncheons, or an email, employees appreciate praise!


Willing to Learn Needs

There are two types of needs: Personal and Practical.

Personal needs refer to how we feel involved, supported, and valued. Practical needs refer to how we track our progress and agree on performance levels. Bosses who understand such requirements, and take care of them, will make fantastic leaders people look up to.


Great bosses are compassionate as they praise success or address challenges. They know to express compassion verbally and non-verbally. They can sense emotions going on within their environment. Moreover, they understand employee demands, which would go beyond the organization.

Bosses are aware that employees fulfill multiple within and outside the company and that employee interactions can impact the overall work relationship. More importantly, they understand accountability is expected even when maintaining extraordinary levels of compassion.


Employees head to work to make a difference and do a great job. Bosses who communicate the company’s mission, vision, and goals will achieve a more engaged and productive workforce. As a result, employees feel more interested and involved in helping the organization achieve the objectives within the mission and vision.

Besides communicating the company’s vision and mission, a great leader should have a clear strategy and set of expectations. Having this would help a boss properly guide and inform employees, enabling them to collaborate, stay on the same page, and work excellently.

Besides having a clear vision, he should also learn how to execute the vision. This is done through excellent communication skills and by breaking down that vision into bite-sized chunks, outlining the roadmap to achieve goals one step at a time.


Takes Time to Know Employees

A fantastic boss will stop by workstations to say hello, taking a personal interest in their employees’ lives. Employees will feel valued when bosses show an interest in their family hobbies and other interests beyond work.


Makes Work Fun

Everyone appreciates a fun working environment. A boss can create a fun workplace by holding monthly potlucks, door decorating contests, birthday celebrations, and the like. These small events aren’t only fun, but they can do awesome team-building exercises.



Subpar bosses have the inability to make decisions or let decision-making drag on. Good bosses are decisive and won’t get caught up in analysis paralysis.

It’s crucial for leaders to know that the way decisions are made is just as important as the decisions themselves. Leaders who can make decisions with conviction and speed may not always get things right, but they can keep the organization moving forward. While wrong decisions can be fixed in the long run, indecisiveness can damage the organization and reputation beyond repair!


Readily Available

person standing near the stairs

One of the best policies includes open-door policies. Employees must feel comfortable approaching their boss with any concerns or questions. Approachable bosses are trusted more, which would create a culture filled with high morale.

Accessibility is crucial and gives bosses the advantage as employees will feel more comfortable reaching out to talk to their leaders, especially before any problem arises. By owning such traits, you won’t become the boss who runs around constantly putting out fires and looking al angry and stressed because employees were too scared to approach you.


Shares Credit with Staff

Unfortunately, this is a huge trait that not every boss follows, and you might have experienced a lousy boss taking all the credit!

In fact, according to Forbes, almost 80% of people who quit jobs did it because of a lack of appreciation!

You’ll find employees pointing out their major dislike of their boss in job satisfaction surveys. Why? Because those bosses take all the credit for accomplishments!

Taking all the credit is one of the most demotivating things bosses can do. That’s why you should never forget or ignore to acknowledge the contributions, input, and work of employees. Sharing and acknowledging credit will lift team spirits, especially when bosses publicly point out good work and individual contributions. Doing so also strengthens trust and collaboration among team members.

Even on a typical day, bosses should make it a habit to empower others for big and small achievements. Don’t micromanage all aspects of an employee’s work! Instead, encourage employees to take ownership of projects, think outside the box, and question how things can be improved.


Coaches Over Demands

Sure, bosses can give orders to employees. However, it’s a whole thing to challenge employees and provide constructive criticism to improve their performance. Great bosses will understand their employees’ strengths and weaknesses, doing their best to help the team learn and grow.

That said, a good boss would also set high standards and have the balance of coaching and demanding the best from their employees! To set high standards, you first have to set that standard for yourself. Employees will feel even more inspired and motivated when they see their boss walk the talk.

Once performance goals are set, a good boss will expect employees to be accountable to reach those targets. He can do it through evaluations, performance assessments, and regular check-ins throughout the process to make sure everything is running smoothly. A boss should also regularly address any challenges, deviations, mediocrities, and shortcomings promptly, moving the team forward towards the shared goal.


There is greater power in numbers, with excellent bosses understanding it. Instead of being the one and only ultimate decision-maker, they ensure to collaborate with other team members to achieve the best end result. These bosses don’t assume that their way is the only correct one.



A great boss will treat everyone equally. Regardless of who they are, what experience, seniority, or background they have, bosses must offer every team member an equal amount of attention and respect.


Wrapping It Up

When you foster the right traits, you get to strengthen your leadership skills, encouraging employees to perform their best. As a result, you have a happier workforce and a more successful business. It’s a win-win situation!

We hope our list of the top qualities that great bosses share helped you out. Now that you know what qualities to follow, it’s time you start taking the next step to becoming the best boss you can be.

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