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Best boss

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
My boss of almost 2 years is set to retire in May. I have had 6 bosses since I've been in Planning. Four have been middle-aged guys (here is one with 3 Cyburbians and 2 other co-workers: http://www.cyburbia.org/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=9425) and contrary to what I read many years ago about middle-aged white-guy bosses, they've all been great. The two lousy ones? A 30-ish female and a mid-thirties guy.

The middle-aged guys always seem to be the nicest, bond with their employees (in a good, clean way of course), teach you the most, etc. The one in the photo was retiring early a couple years ago and is still missed.

Who have been your best bosses and why?
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
9,945
Points
40
I've been fortunate in having great bosses in both of the places I've worked. My current boss and I get along great, work well together, and share a lot of common interests, and compliment each other in our strengths/weaknesses (he on the economic development end of things, me on the planning end).

We just sat down last week to discuss redoing my job title/description as we add a staff person for GIS (finally), making sure that I'll get experience in those things I'll need when/if I move on to a director's position in another community. Can't complain about that! :)
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,270
Points
30
Everytime I've been involved in discussions regarding horrible bosses, it's been a female complaining about a female boss. Why is this? Ultimately the conversation ends with women saying that women are difficult to work for. Oddly enough, one of my best bosses was a middle age african american male who had no prior planning experience, but he was a great organizer, team leader and knew how to handle tense situations. Some of the staff didn't like a non-planner being hired to head a planning department, others felt like it was a political hire. But I found that he let me do my job, wasn't afraid to learn and always supported what I was doing.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
The bad bosses I have had mostly seem to have one thing in common - an oversized ego. They have never been able to admit that somebody else (not necessarily me) could be right. The first one kept butting heads with the planning director. The second managed to lose the support of the entire management staff.

The worst boss I had was a company commander in the Army. People liked to say "he keeps a low profile." He was afraid that if he or anybody in the unit did anything, it might draw attention, so it was best to do nothing. He eventually got booted.

My best boss? A woman. She knew her material, made her standards clear, trusted the people under her to perform, gave us leeway to try new things, and listened to the staff.
 

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,779
Points
24
ZG - great picture of us all with the Man himself. What a great boss he was! Well I guess technically, since the two other Cyburbinites in the picture were also my supervisors that means that you two were (are still) great bosses, mentors and friends to me. All three of you allowed me to grow and try new opportunities. And above all, entrusted a lot of faith in me.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
My boss now is pretty cool. She isn't a micro-manager, so she mostly lets us do our jobs without a lot of intrusive supervision. All she really asks is that we keep her informed so she doesn't get any surprises. Her boss, the county executive officer is also pretty cool. Our commissioners are good bosses, too. Though the Commissioners don't always agree with Staff, they respect us on a professional level and rarely does it get personal.

It is a much better situation than my previous job, where the planning director avoided decisions and was mindful always of how thing would make her look before the borough manager, who was a friend of hers. And the Borough Assembly was a bunch of nutcases.
 

Repo Man

Cyburbian
Messages
2,549
Points
25
I think that a good boss is someone who isn’t afraid to chance policy, procedures, etc when a lower level employee makes a good suggestion. A bad boss listens to the suggestion, but completely ignores it because they don’t want it to appear that their way isn’t the best way. A good boss respects his/her employees and treats them as equals. A bad boss treats them like they are idiots. A good boss involves you in projects and is always trying to get you to improve yourself. A bad boss hogs all of the “big” projects and leaves the crap to their underlings. A good boss works with their employees so that if the boss leaves for any reason, an employee could easily step into that position. When a bad boss leaves, the employees spend months searching through files to trying to catch up and figure out what was going on. Most of my planning bosses have fit my idea of a good boss, however there have been a couple of ones that have helped me define what I think a bad boss is.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I have had several bosses:

4 at Davis (three female, one male)
1 at Oak Harbor (male)
3 at Vancouver (two male, one female)
1 here (male)

My boss right now, a 40-something male, is the best boss I've ever had by far. He's awesome.

All of the women bosses were great as well (with one notable exception). My last two bosses before this with the City of Vancouver were the worst. One was a female who enjoyed pitting co-workers against each other and disparaging staff from other departments at public meetings. She was a walking fiasco and luckily I only worked under her for a few months before finding the job I'm in now.

The boss right before her was a male, and he was awful for me. Didn't support me at all, didn't give any direction, and was generally just a stuffed shirt.
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
Messages
1,264
Points
22
Planderella said:
I'm still waiting for that best boss.
Ditto. I currently have 6, all project managers. They all have their own styles and it is a pain in the a$$ to learn them all and switch between them seamlessly.
 

biscuit

Cyburbian
Messages
3,904
Points
25
Planderella said:
That's what HE thinks! ;)
Us men know the truth about who is really the boss, but please be kind and allow BEK his delusions... they're all we have sometimes. ;-)
 
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Queen B

Cyburbian
Messages
3,178
Points
25
Hey Budgie, what you talkin about, bud.... I resembled your comments!!!!

The best boss I had trusted that I knew how to do my job and that if I screwed up all was fixable. He started the day off with a "GOOD DAY" and let us learn and help. God I miss him this week......
 

Big Easy King

Cyburbian
Messages
1,361
Points
23
biscuit said:
Us men know the truth about who is really the boss, but please be kind and allow BEK his delusions... they're all we have sometimes. ;-)
Preach brotha, preach! ;-) :-D
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
Cardinal said:
The bad bosses I have had mostly seem to have one thing in common - an oversized ego. They have never been able to admit that somebody else (not necessarily me) could be right.
I have been told that I have a huge ego. I think it is more than "ego" -- there is also insecurity and lack of realism in such people. People who cannot EVER admit that they are wrong or who cannot accept someone else knowing more, are often pretty insecure and the "ego" is a cover for how insecure they are.

But, let me note that this may not apply to individual instances of "not admitting you are wrong" -- I have been accused of that at times, usually by someone wanting me to "admit I am wrong" in a totally toxic situation where admitting error amounts to saying "Sure, you are right: I deserve to be kicked around and treated like sh*t." But, if you are the boss, it is up to you to engineer an environment where "admitting a mistake" is not a horrible, terrible, unrecoverable tragedy. My kids have a lot of respect for me as a parent BECAUSE I admit when I am wrong and I apologize to them, make amends, set a NEW policy, etc.
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,970
Points
30
I am currently in a downward spiral, kind of like a toilet bowl, of bosses. Each one has ben worse then the last.

worst boss ever made me work teh morning of my grandmother's funeral or I'd lose my job. I ended up quitting 3 weeks later.

New boss is not a very good people person or teacher. Three weeks in, and think what an idiot I was to move.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,852
Points
39
donk said:
worst boss ever made me work teh morning of my grandmother's funeral or I'd lose my job.
Not as bad as grandma's funeral, but I had a boss who made me go to work with 2 other planners on New Years Day for 10 hours to do a grant application that the board decided to submit at the last minute. Needless to say, he didn't show up to help.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
donk said:
I am currently in a downward spiral, kind of like a toilet bowl, of bosses. Each one has ben worse then the last.

worst boss ever made me work teh morning of my grandmother's funeral or I'd lose my job. I ended up quitting 3 weeks later.

New boss is not a very good people person or teacher. Three weeks in, and think what an idiot I was to move.
Ouch! There should be more ability for job seekers to reverse the interview process and find out more about their potential employers. Had I known more, I would have never taken one job about a decade ago. I have a second interview coming up soon. I have received some disturbing comments from the former employer of the person who left this job after about a year. It makes me wonder if there may be a problem there.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,905
Points
23
I have been through 6 bosses... and the one who taught me the most was a mid-thirties woman... who was tough as nails. She knew her stuff...and taught me a lot. My worst bosses have been men, although right now I work under a couple guys and life is good.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,838
Points
25
donk said:
I am currently in a downward spiral, kind of like a toilet bowl, of bosses. Each one has ben worse then the last.

worst boss ever made me work teh morning of my grandmother's funeral or I'd lose my job. I ended up quitting 3 weeks later.

New boss is not a very good people person or teacher. Three weeks in, and think what an idiot I was to move.
That sucks. At least the area is better than where you were (I hope). Hopefully after a while you'll get into the groove and he'll be less of an issue.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,917
Points
36
donk said:
Three weeks in, and think what an idiot I was to move.
Oh come on now, it's not that bad. There are some positives that have happened, right? Or did the second date go that badly? ;)
 

Dragon

Cyburbian
Messages
750
Points
21
Am I going to incriminate myself here? B-)

My boss is one of the fellow cyburbians jestes. He has proven to be a good mentor. He carries the bulk of the workload. On most projects, he has been involved with for so long, that there isn’t much of a point in me trying to take over on them. However, I am given information on these projects so that I am not in the dark should someone ask me about these projects. jestes has been the only person in the planning department for so long, that it has taken him a while to learn to share some of the work burden with me. He is coming along, and I find myself busier as time carries on.

He has been doing a good job with “hands on” learning in planning. I also enjoy the confidence he has in me with some of the projects and questions I am left with to work on.

On a side note, I feel that I am treated more like a friend then a subordinate. This works well for me, because it is more conducive to learning, and I feel like more of a team player. I think he possible downfall to this work environment is that should something negative (especially minor, I’m sure he would on something major) come up, will he bite his tongue where something should be said.
 
Messages
5,352
Points
31
Dragon said:
Am I going to incriminate myself here? B-)

My boss is one of the fellow cyburbians jestes. He has proven to be a good mentor. He carries the bulk of the workload. On most projects, he has been involved with for so long, that there isn’t much of a point in me trying to take over on them. However, I am given information on these projects so that I am not in the dark should someone ask me about these projects. jestes has been the only person in the planning department for so long, that it has taken him a while to learn to share some of the work burden with me. He is coming along, and I find myself busier as time carries on.

He has been doing a good job with “hands on” learning in planning. I also enjoy the confidence he has in me with some of the projects and questions I am left with to work on.

On a side note, I feel that I am treated more like a friend then a subordinate. This works well for me, because it is more conducive to learning, and I feel like more of a team player. I think he possible downfall to this work environment is that should something negative (especially minor, I’m sure he would on something major) come up, will he bite his tongue where something should be said.
You forgot the most important part!!! He lets you play with us! :)
 

Dragon

Cyburbian
Messages
750
Points
21
Planderella said:
You forgot the most important part!!! He lets you play with us! :)
Let nothing, he encourages it 8-! !!!! He told me about this site :-D .
 

jestes

Cyburbian
Messages
230
Points
9
My boss is one of the fellow cyburbians jestes. He has proven to be a good mentor. He carries the bulk of the workload. On most projects, he has been involved with for so long, that there isn’t much of a point in me trying to take over on them. However, I am given information on these projects so that I am not in the dark should someone ask me about these projects. jestes has been the only person in the planning department for so long, that it has taken him a while to learn to share some of the work burden with me. He is coming along, and I find myself busier as time carries on.
The Magic 8 Ball says that the outlook for Dragon's continued employment is.....GOOD.

Good response Dragon and way to cover your a$$.
 
Messages
13
Points
1
great bosses

a great boss is one who gives guidelines, not directions. who encourages creativity and provides the forum to follow them through.
a great boss stands beside you and behind you.
I know these things because I have one!
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Cardinal said:
Woohoo! Unfair labor practices! I must be doing something right. ;)
My albatross is gone! The union caved. She resigned! I can hire somebody with a brain!
 
Messages
7,649
Points
29
Cardinal said:
My albatross is gone! The union caved. She resigned! I can hire somebody with a brain!
[playing] Er, isn't "talking to yourself" a sign of mental defect?? 8-! [/playing]

More seriously, I feel like I missed something, somewhere. I don't get it. Wanna explain? (publically or privately, I don't care -- have your druthers)
 
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