Learn the 5 Traits of a 'Best Boss'

"You made me a better person... not just a better leader. You made me learn how much more people can do when they feel supported and appreciated. You taught me to take chances, celebrate success, and appreciate that if I don’t make mistakes, I’m not challenging myself enough! Thank you!

Have you ever worked for someone who made you feel this way? If you’re lucky enough to have worked for a Best Boss, this relationship likely had a profound impact on your performance, your career, and your life. And if you are, or aspire to be, a Best Boss, you will have that same impact. We think everyone should plan to be a Best Boss. So, here’s how to do it.



Chicago-based consultancy Lead Well LLC, in partnership with Vantage Leadership Consulting, invited individuals across many demographics and working environments to answer seven open-ended questions about their perceived Best Boss. Survey respondents repeatedly highlighted five integrated behavioral traits:

  • Leads With a Higher Purpose – A Best Boss has a purpose beyond self-interest and profit that is put into action on behalf of the individual.
  • Activates Potential – A Best Boss observes, values, and takes steps to activate the present capability and future potential of the individual.
  • Grants Autonomy – A Best Boss imparts knowledge, business acumen, and big picture thinking, and establishes an autonomous space for the individual to perform.
  • Provides Pervasive Feedback – A Best Boss seamlessly uses frequent and diverse feedback to constructively shape, reinforce, and/or modify behavior.
  • Encourages Risk Taking to Accelerate Learning – A Best Boss fuels reasonable risk taking to assure learning and realizes that mistakes are a natural part of the growth process.

Ferguson and Scherer continue with 8 strategic steps for taking 'Best Boss' behaviors and turning them into action and results. View their article HERE and learn how to drive change, create energy, and overcome many of the challenges leaders face today.

For more information on the study, click the link below or contact Duncan Ferguson at dferguson@vantageleadership.com or via LinkedIn.

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Duncan Ferguson

Duncan Ferguson, received his Bachelor's degree from Michigan State’s College of Social Science and his M.A. degree from Michigan State University’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations (SHRLR). He actively gives back to his alma mater, where he is the President of the SHRLR Alumni Relations Board, an Advisory Board member for MSU’s College Employment Research Institute, and a founding member of Chicago Spartan Leaders. He has twice been a guest on WGN Radio and has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Investment Daily, Chicago Tribune, and Benefits Online.

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