Are You a Great Leader? Happy National Boss's Day!

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Mike Camp

I recently read something interesting about the creation of National Boss’s Day that I wanted to share. Patricia Bays Haroski had a great boss who also happened to be her father. She wanted to find a way to honor him with his own special day and to celebrate the vision, leadership and mentoring skills of great bosses everywhere. Thanks to her efforts, National Boss’s Day was established on October 16, 1958. Today we get the opportunity to appreciate those great bosses who have influenced our careers and our lives in a positive manner.

When you look back over your life I am sure you have experienced at least one great boss who helped guide you to where you are today. Hopefully, you have been blessed to work with more than one great boss, and you have taken that knowledge to become a great boss yourself. Being a great boss doesn’t mean you fail to hold people accountable. It also doesn’t mean that you try to be everyone’s friend instead of doing what’s right.

Being a great boss is about being a great listener, remembering why you have two ears and only one mouth, so you can listen more than you speak. Being a great boss is about showing those around you how much you trust them by inspiring them to take chances and allowing them to make their own mistakes along the way. A great boss is about being passionate about overcoming challenges with a "never give in" attitude while encouraging others to pursue their challenges as well. I believe a great boss takes the time to serve others first and helping them reach their goals. When people are fortunate to work with a great boss they tend to have higher morale and productivity.

Author Alex Haley said it best when he told the story of a photo in his office of a turtle on a fencepost. Mr. Haley said that whenever he thinks, "Look at these great things I have done!" or when he gets too full of himself, he looks at that photo and knows the turtle sure didn’t get on that fencepost without someone’s help. I keep that same photo in my office as a reminder to thank others who have helped me over the years and to keep me humble. Being a "turtle helper" is another way to become a great boss by putting the needs of others ahead of your own.

I can tell you I am extremely appreciative for the support and servant leadership I have received from a great boss in my career. This person has made a positive influence on me and my career for which I can never truly repay her. I can only aspire to be a "great boss" like she is and pay it forward. With today being National Boss’s Day, please take some time to tell that great boss a sincere "thank you" for everything they have done for you and your career. Without the assistance of those "turtle helpers" you may not have been able to enjoy the view from where you sit now!

"The measure of a leader is not the number of people who serve the leader, but the number of people served by the leader" - John Maxwell