Bad bosses make people miserable. They also kill innovation, stifle growth, increase costs, and create instability. Well-meaning people become bad bosses without even realizing it.
Great bosses have relationships with each of their employees. This relationship is a source of growth and stability for individuals and companies. Anywhere I’ve observed a great boss, I’ve seen the same three principles for approaching this relationship play out. I’ll describe these principles mostly by telling stories, some successes, but also plenty of mistakes—mostly mine. Some are funny, some are painful, and many are plain embarrassing, but they’re all instructive.
Even if your company is nothing like the places I’m describing (Google, Apple, Twitter) and your own boss is a control freak or petty tyrant or simply useless, you can still adopt these three basic principles and become a great boss yourself. I’ll explain how, and why you’ll be happy you did.