Is your Boss a Leader ?

up_the_organizationIn his book “Up the Organization”, Robert Townsend gives 10 evaluation criteria that you can use to rate your boss as a leader.

Here is, in a nutshell, the difference between a boss and a leader: a boss is someone who was appointed by the organization to manage a team. A leader, on the other hand, is someone in the organization who inspires people. A boss pushes people to work, a leader pulls them towards his vision. Some bosses are leaders, others are just managers. For a brief comparison between (bad) boss and leader characteristics, you may refer to the info-graphic at the end of this post.

Back to Townsend’s criteria, the author suggests that you score each of the following characteristics from 0 to 10, the total (from 0 to 100) is you boss’s rating. How much is your boss :

  1. available. If I have a problem I can’t solve, he is there. But he is forceful in making me do my level best to bring in solutions, not problems. __/10
  2. inclusive. Quick to let me in on information or people who might be useful to me or stimulating or of long-term professional interest. __/10
  3. humorous. Has a full measure of the Comic Spirit in his make-up. Laughs even harder when the joke’s on him. __/10
  4. fair. And concerned about me and how I’m doing. Gives credit where credit is due, but holds me to my promise. __/10
  5. decisive. Determined to get at those little unimportant (how they are decided) decisions which can tie up organizations for days. __/10
  6. humble. Admits his own mistakes openly—learns from them and expects his people to do the same. __/10
  7. objective. Knows the apparently important (like a visiting director) from the truly important (a meeting of his own people) and goes where he is needed.__/10
  8. tough. Won’t let top management or important outsiders waste his time or his people’s time. Is more jealous of his people’s time than he is of his own. __/10
  9. effective. Teaches me to bring him my mistakes with what I’ve learned (if anything) and done about them (if anything). Teaches me not to interrupt him with possible good news on which no action is needed. __/10
  10. patient. Knows when to bite the bullet until I solve my own problem. __/10

Total ___/100

If the total is below 50, look for another job.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s