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Hey there, fellow leaders (or future leaders)! If you’ve ever wondered what it takes to be a great leader and avoid becoming a “bad boss,” you’re in the right place. 

Being a good boss means more than just holding a title. It’s about fostering a workplace where teams thrive, respect reigns, and goals are met. Here’s how you can steer clear of the pitfalls of bad boss territory.

Get Clear on Your Culture

Understanding your company’s culture is pivotal. It’s not just about having a list of values on the wall or in an employee handbook that no one reads. You need to make those values come alive through specific behaviors. What does “integrity” mean in your workplace? How about “excellence”? It’s about defining these values in practical, everyday terms.

Pro Tip: Create a culture playbook that outlines your company’s values and the behaviors that align with them. Share this with your team so everyone knows what’s expected.

How to Lead Culturally Diverse Teams in a Hybrid Work Environment

Operationalize Your Values

Once you’ve defined those behaviors, make sure they’re not just words on paper. Operationalize your values by incorporating them into your daily routines and decision-making. Involve your team in this process. After all, they are the ones who will bring those values to life.

Pro Tip: Hold regular team meetings to discuss and reinforce these values. Recognize and reward employees who embody them.

How to Write (And Live) Your Company’s Core Values

Slow Down to Speed Up

When it comes to hiring, especially in a rush, remember this mantra: “Slow down to speed up.” It might sound counterintuitive, but taking your time in the hiring process can save you a ton of headaches down the road. It is important to be upfront with candidates about your company’s culture and challenges. Transparency builds trust.

Pro Tip: Create a culture fit assessment as part of your hiring process. Ask candidates about their values and how they align with the company’s culture.

Training Leaders vs. High Performers

Here’s a common pitfall: assuming that high performers will automatically excel as leaders.

Managing a team requires a different skill set than being an individual contributor. Recognize that someone who’s great at their job might not have the coaching and mentoring abilities needed to lead a team effectively.

Pro Tip: Invest in leadership training and development programs for your high-potential employees. Teach them how to manage people, not just tasks.

Did you know that you can outsource your manager training and culture-building tools such as leadership assessments, performance management, and culture surveys to us? Working with us is easy- just fill out this form and we will reach out to schedule a complimentary Culture Assessment conversation for you!

Ask for Feedback Actively

Want to shake off the “bad boss” label? Get good at receiving and asking for feedback. Encourage your team to share their thoughts openly, and actively listen to what they have to say. Asking questions like, “How can I best manage you?” can be a game-changer in building better working relationships.

Pro Tip: Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your team members to discuss their progress, challenges, and feedback.

How To Ask for Feedback at the Workplace in 7 Steps


Becoming a great boss is not about being perfect from the start; it’s about continuous improvement. Take heed of these insights to heart: get clear on your culture, operationalize your values, slow down when hiring, recognize the difference between high performers and leaders, and actively seek feedback.

By following these tips and tools, you’ll be well on your way to being the kind of boss people respect, admire, and want to work with. Remember, being a great boss is not just good for your employees; it’s good for business too. Lead on!

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This article is based on the conversation in this episode of “Bad Boss with Anya Soto.”

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