The Good Boss

Insights for a healthy and productive workplace in challenging economic times.

4. The Cool Dude (or Dudette) — a boss that has fun and lets their employees have fun. This boss maintains a certain aura of authority while creating a likable and lively atmosphere. They let their employees enjoy their time at work and find time for small diversions, within the confines that the job still gets done … and done well. At those instances, this boss rewards their employees with time off or special workplace events within the realm of a respectable workplace culture. The Cool Dude or Dudette is a good boss because they understand that all employees are people, that all people need some kind of fun, and that happy employees are healthy, productive, and engaged.

5. The Creator — a boss who inspires invention and creativity. This boss pushes the limits of their employees to ignite innovation. They challenge intellect and question the status quo, so that new products and ideas are developed from within. The Creator embodies the spirit of imagination and is never overly demanding. Creativity and invention come from a unique mindset, so this boss correctly identifies those in their team that are keen to this way of thinking. As such, the Creator is a good boss because they are motivational and collaborative.

These five bosses, or rather their respective characteristics, exemplify what makes for healthy leadership within organizations. Many bosses may embody many or all of these characteristics. The best bosses are able to reflect upon their own natural inclinations and experiences, leveraging their assets, and developing areas of weakness. Common trends amongst these five good bosses make for a great boss as well — collaborative, communicative, engaging, and inspirational.

Our new cogenerational world is crying out for leaders — of all ages and generations — and hopefully many of us will realize that great leaders can exist in the smallest, biggest, nearest, and furthest of places. AMT

Jim Finkelstein, with 34+ years of consulting and corporate experience, has specialized in business and people strategy, motivation and reward, and organizational assessment, development, communications and transformation. He has worked for diverse industries, from health care to high tech. He received his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (1976) and a BA in psychology and economics from Trinity College in Hartford, CT (1974). His experience includes being a partner in a Big Five firm, a CEO of a professional services firm, a corporate executive for Fortune 500 companies, and an entrepreneur with his current company, FutureSense®, Inc. He has experienced business from every possible angle and through every possible change. For more information:,

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