Just before Christmas, my husband found out his boss had been offered a new job and that he had accepted it. It was a golden opportunity for his boss, and while my husband was happy for him he was also pretty bummed at the prospect of losing him.

Looking from the outside in, I knew this guy was a lot of fun to be around and had a reputation for never losing his cool in a very high stress, deadline riddled position. But what else? I asked my husband why he’d miss him, and he replied,

“It’s great to have a boss like that: I admire him, and I respect him. ”

But why? I pressed. This is what he said:

“When no one else will make a decision, he does. He doesn’t hesitate to seize responsibility and the accountability that comes with it when we need him to.

He listens well, and if he doesn’t get it (i.e. whatever we’re trying to explain to him) he says so and doesn’t pretend that he does.”

There had to be more. So I pressed again, What else?

“That’s about it. Those are the most important things. The only other thing I guess is that he’s there for us when we need him to be there, and he trusts us enough to be out of the way when we don’t.”

I had to agree that summed it up pretty well.

Rosa Say, author of Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawaii’s Universal Values to the Art of Business and the Talking Story blog.

Rosa is founder and head coach of Say Leadership Coaching, a company dedicated to bringing nobility to the working arts of management and leadership.

Rosa’s Previous Thursday Column was: How to Capture an Expert’s Value: 12 Tips.

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