“Look at this apartment…do you see it? It’s a mess it hasn’t been cleaned in weeks.” She continues, “You’ve all failed, you haven’t done anything. I asked you to clean this up, it’s filthy. How can we expect to fill this room with a new resident when it looks like this? The walls need paint, the carpet is stained, the windows…” she continued on for awhile.

I stood there thinking, wow, I’ve never been treated like this in my life, let alone by a supervisor. My thoughts were interrupted with, “Kyle, didn’t you know about this?” Looking at her I thought, I just don’t care, I don’t want to be treated this way. She doesn’t even have a clue how much effort the team put in to fix 100s of other issues. I didn’t say any of that I looked at her and said, “yes.” This type of conversation and treatment went on the whole day. We are all failures and she’s “pissed.”

Never Again

This experience was at a senior living facility that I briefly (thank goodness) worked at. Durning a “walk-thru,” it was all urgency and emergency. The writing was on the wall after I experienced 3 of these visits. Working for someone that communicates like this, speaks in this way, and has no understanding of the actual progress within the facility was no longer an option. Within the week I gave notice.

I never want to experience a boss like this again and I don’t want others to either. This list of leadership books comes from a heart to change the way some people see how to lead and supervise. Some items on this list may surprise you, but every one of them is powerful and effective. I’ve included links to the leadership books to help you learn the principles and techniques behind this top ten list. I guarantee if you take the time to read these books and practice these leadership techniques, you will see amazing results.

A great boss…

1. Is a great communicator

How to Win Friends and Influence People

A great boss understands the key to the success at all levels of the organization is great communication. He puts in the effort to improve his communication and expects great communication around them. Finally, he speaks up when communication needs to improve and takes action to make it happen.

2. Is an effective organizer and planner

Getting Things Done

A great boss plans well and stays organized. She organizes and implements her plans in effective ways. She organizes and plans her own day well and helps her team do the same.

3. Has a vision for the company, themselves, and their employees

Good to Great

A great boss is a visionary boss. He sees outside of himself and is able to use that vision to improve the team and the company. He sees the potential in each of his employees and helps them see their own potential.

4. Is a coach and leader

The Coaching Habit

A great boss is a coach and leader. She leads each employee in the way they need. When an employee is struggling she knows what questions to ask and how to best empower them to resolve their own problems.

5. Is blunt — but polite about it

The New One Minute Manager

A great boss isn’t afraid to give honest feedback. If he sees someone doing something wrong, he calls them on it. But he does it by calling out the behavior or error and not the person. He respects and understands the abilities of his employees and calls these abilities out.

6. Encourages others

The New One Minute Manager

A great boss catches people doing something good. She spends time daily looking for her employees to do something right. She finds specific tasks or projects the employee did well and praises them for a job well done.

7. Gives his employees opportunities to solve problems

The 5 Dysfunctions of a team

A great boss challenges his employees to solve problems. He gives his employees room to make mistakes but expects solutions.

8. Allows employee feedback and listens to the ideas

Thanks for the Feedback

A great boss cares about my opinion. She is willing to hear the opinions of her employees and offer honest feedback. She understands that the collaborative effort of the team will be far better than just her own.

9. Is wise and experienced in leadership

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership

A great boss is a wise boss. He is wise in his business leadership but more importantly, he is wise in his interpersonal relations with his employees. He understands that leading his team is more than just the bottom-line.

10. Trusts her employees and doesn’t micromanage

The Speed of Trust

A great boss trusts her employees. She understands in order to get high-quality results she has to trust and rely on her team. She checks in on her staff and supports their efforts, but doesn’t have to be a part of every decision they make.

Did I miss any great leadership books? What are your favorites?

Please share your favorite leadership books below. I know I still have a lot of room to grow.



Scroll to Top