“The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Here is a strategy you can use to rate your boss. Think about each statement below and how true it is for your boss, every time, in every way. If it’s true most all the time, put a ‘3’ beside the statement. If it’s usually true but sometimes isn’t, put a ‘2’ beside the statement. If it’s sometimes true but usually isn’t, put a ‘1’ beside the statement. If it’s seldom to never true, put a ‘0’ beside the statement. When you are finished, I will tell you how to rate your boss.
3 = Most always; 2 = Usually; 1 = Sometimes; 0 = Seldom to never
___ Has a clear vision of our mission, why we do what we do.
___ Values employees and what we do.
___ Is committed to excellence.
___ Is responsive to the needs and interests of our customers.
___ Understands where and how he/she fits into the scheme of things.
___ Follows procedures, plays by the rules.
___ Doesn’t pass his/her frustrations down-the-line to employees.
___ Is positive and energetic whether things are going well or not.
___ Accurately understands his/her skills and limitations.
___ Is well-organized.
___ Handles things in a timely manner.
___ Personally pitches in and does what needs done.
___ Keeps things focused on getting the job done.
___ Doesn’t get into being negative and ‘down’ about things.
___ Doesn’t get into blaming or accusing someone anytime there is a problem.
___ Believes other people are honest and trustworthy.
___ Takes even minor complaints seriously.
___ Is open to ideas and suggestions from anyone.
___ Understands problems and issues from other people’s points of view.
___ Makes sure a job can be done before holding anyone responsible for it.
___ Is clear with people about what he/she expects.
___ Takes time to be sure that people understand how their jobs fit in with other jobs and activities.
___ Gives people clear reasons and explanations whenever they are requested.
___ Appropriately delegates tasks and duties.
___ Doesn’t delegate a job to someone and then try to manage it him/herself or second-guess the person who got the job.
___ Delegates enough authority so the person can do what needs done.
___ Knows how to get the resources needed to get the job done.
___ Is skilled at using informal strategies to get things done.
___ Understands and taps the knowledge, skills, and resources of everyone.
___ Distributes work and responsibilities efficiently and fairly.
___ Doesn’t take advantage of anyone.
___ Defers to others when they are more knowledgeable, skilled, or competent.
___ Values differing styles, personalities, and opinions.
___ Sees problems and opportunities before they become crises or it’s too late to do anything about them.
___ Deals with problems and conflicts as soon as he/she becomes aware of them.
___ Doesn’t react to people or problems impulsively.
___ Is slow to confront people or get into arguments.
___ Fits his/her reactions to the situation or circumstance.
___ Is assertive but tactful.
___ Is hard on problems and soft on people.
___ Is flexible and willing to compromise.
___ Doesn’t deal with people in win/lose terms if it can be avoided.
___ Remembers and owns what he/she says, agrees to, and does.
___ Works with people instead of merely relying on his/her power and control.
___ Takes everyone into consideration when making decisions.
___ Tries to understand the what and why of problems before taking action.
___ Can and will make the tough or unpopular decision when necessary.
___ Can handle people’s being unhappy or upset with him/her at times.
___ Attends to the details without getting bogged down in them.
___ Gives people clear, frequent, and accurate feedback.
___ Is as quick to tell people what they have done right as what they have done wrong.
___ Takes it for granted that people are trying to do a good job.
___ Is a good teacher.
___ Is quick to praise and slow to criticize.
___ Only holds people responsible for what they actually can do, can control.
___ Compliments publicly, criticizes privately.
To rate your boss, add together your ratings for the items above. The total will be from 0 to 168. When you are finished, use the guide below to interpret your boss’ score.
126 to 168 There are bosses and There are bosses and then There are bosses like yours; but there are not nearly enough of them to go around. Unfortunately, most people have to make do with lesser mortals. Now, be honest and tell everyone your secret. Did you choose your boss, did your boss choose you, or did you just luck out? However it happened, you have certainly got a good thing going for yourself and should thank your lucky stars at least once a day, every day. You also have a great opportunity to learn from a master. Your boss walks the walk, talks the talk, and has all the right moves; and you should emulate the example being set for you. If you get it right, you are likely to be a great boss yourself one day.
84 to 125 Your boss isn’t up there with the crème de la crème, not a certified member of the leadership elite; but nonetheless, you have definitely got a keeper. Though your boss doesn’t quite qualify as a leadership guru, he or she may be a worthy candidate for the guru-in-training program. I would certainly give your boss two thumbs up and so should you. What you need to know is that the more you stick to The High Road as you work and deal with your boss, the more your boss will stick to The High Road when working and dealing with you. You have a boss who doesn’t quite get it yet; but you have also got a golden opportunity to show the way, to blaze the trail to The High Road for both of you.
42 to 83 ‘Average’ comes to mind when characterizing your boss. It likely comes as no surprise to you that bosses aren’t known for spending a lot of time on The High Road, at least while they are doing their boss thing. Some kind of mysterious fog envelops far too many otherwise sensitive, rational people at the very instant that they put on their boss hats and turns them into bad examples of most everything. To many it looks like they have gotten caught up in status, power, and the need to control everyone and everything. Sure, that’s how it is for some; but for most, you are seeing something quite different. They have gotten caught up in all that responsibility and in all that authority they don’t know how to handle. Under it all, they are anxious and worried about themselves, their abilities, and whether they will succeed. They fear that they will fail. If you can see this, you can help your boss and help yourself at the same time. You can look for opportunities to be helpful, to be supportive. You can give your boss frequent, accurate feedback about how you are doing and how things are going. Most importantly, you can let your boss know when he or she is doing it right, is succeeding. The key is for you to stick to The High Road every day, in every way. Will this get your boss onto The High Road? Probably not; but there will be more times when he or she gets closer and more opportunities for you to walk the walk, talk the talk, and model the right moves.
0 to 41 Oh well, your boss is why they call it WORK; and you will be having a lot of tough days to follow the tough days you have already had. If knowing what you are dealing with is better than not knowing, it’s bad and ain’t likely to change, at least not in your lifetime; but you have surely figured that out for yourself by now. Today may be the day to put that old dog into the truck and take it on down the road; but if that won’t work for you when you take everything into consideration, there are a couple pointers that you need to consider. First, your boss isn’t going to change and there is little to nothing you can do about that; so quit trying to figure out ways to accomplish the improbable. Next, stop getting into discussions with other employees about your boss’ shortcomings. They do no good and only let other people know that you don’t spend as much time on The High Road as you should. Finally, you will need to accept how truly difficult your situation is and double your resolve to do everything you do, with style, on purpose, every time, in every way, with everyone, including your boss, as you stick to The High Road.