Good boss stories

(Chris van Overveen - Senior Consultant Trimitra Consultants)


In our consulting practice we mostly heard negative stories from people about their bosses. Luckily there are exceptions.

Below are several examples of those exceptions wherefrom we can learn what it takes to be a good boss.

  • My boss is not perfect, but he tries to accommodate my point of view. Even if I think he's being bullheaded, it makes a difference to know that he is at least trying to listen to me.

    My boss is a real gentleman. He's made accommodations so that I can live far away from work, yet can still keep and do my job. I respect him a lot.

  • Our boss recently had to lay someone off during his initial probation period. According to our handbook, the person isn't supposed to receive severance pay. But my boss paid it anyway - it's the type of person she is. Never in my career history have I worked for such a perfect boss.

  • "I have at least one moment each week when my boss comes in, and I stare at her in awe. I still can't believe there are supportive and considerate bosses. But she is one, and I really appreciate her."

  • "Our company has a 'fix the problem, not the blame' attitude that flows down from the president. Co-workers and superiors are there to support one another, instead of stabbing each other in the back."

  • "For the first time in my life, I have a job where every single last one of the bosses is super fantastic!!! I know, unbelievable. But I swear - I wake up in the morning all excited to go to work. The management crew are fun, relaxed, productive, and brilliant. My hat is off to all of them for making my job such a pleasurable experience."

  • "I started a new position in the company to get away from a boss from hell, even though I loved the job I had been doing. Much to my surprise, I really like this new position and my new boss is wonderful and really appreciates the work I do. Working for someone who actually appreciates me makes me want to continue to do a great job!"

  • "My boss tells me what he'd like done, offers support if needed, then leaves me to do the work. I equate this with respect and confidence, and I work harder for my boss because of it."

  • "My boss supports me in many ways - from helping me get overtime to cover some bills, to getting time off to attend family functions. I appreciate his efforts to help me - he's always pulled through for me."

  • "My boss appreciates my work and respects my role as a mother. In turn, I respect my boss and work hard for him. The level of respect between me and my boss is high on both sides, and I really appreciate my boss."

  • "My boss is trying to get me a big raise. He says he thinks I deserve it. Unfortunately, I also believe that his hands are tied. So this Christmas, he and his wife bought me a very nice present with their own money, as appreciation for everything I've done this year."

  • "One of my coworkers had to have emergency surgery. My boss motivated the rest of the team to take on her work to make up for her absence. We ended up not only doing her work, but also winning an award for being the top-producing group in the company. We did this even though we were missing one person! My boss motivates people by allowing them to shine and giving credit to the people who deserve it. When that sick coworker returned to work, she was happy too - she certainly appreciated all the work we had done on her behalf so she wouldn't have to play catch-up."

  • "My current boss is very fair. If he knows the answer to our questions, he will give us an answer. If he doesn't know, he will tell us that he doesn't know. Then he'll go and find the answer for us. He fights for what we want. He also takes conference calls in his cubicle right over the wall from us. Nothing is a secret. Communication is always welcomed, positive or negative, and I value that."

  • "My boss listens to what I say and doesn't put me down in any way."

  • "My boss told me he was glad I was here. His positive attitude, support, and great personality really motivate me to work harder."

  • "I was having a personality conflict with a coworker. My boss intervened and helped reduce the conflicts. My boss is flexible about scheduling, allows me to leave for appointments or to leave early sometimes - he knows that I sometimes work late and give 100% to the company. My boss believes in me and allows me to work independently."

  • "My boss and company have held a job for me when I've been injured. They've given me time off without a hassle. Now I am pregnant, and my boss and other colleagues make sure I can sit when I need to - a lot to ask, considering I'm a cashier at a department store! As a result, I give my very best to the company daily, and so do others. We consistently have repeat customers and a great standard that I strive to maintain everyday."

  • "My boss is fair and really cares about my work."

  • "My boss is very trusting. He genuinely cares about his people. He's able to make the hard calls while still supporting the folks who work for him. I love working for this boss."

  • "My current boss is great! He supports me, tells me how great I am, and brags to others about the things I've accomplished while working for him. He is a keeper!"

  • "My boss is honest and sets a good example. She is well-organized and cares about what is going on. One day, I got into an argument with a co-worker. It wasn't a big deal, and I didn't plan on discussing it with anyone else. Somehow my boss found out about it and took the time from her very busy day to talk with me about it. It's nice to work for a manager who has a heart."

  • "My boss is considerate of my needs and is flexible with scheduling. He is always complimenting my work, not only to me but also to my co-workers and to other superiors."

  • "My boss gives me time off whenever I need it, even though this place is really busy!"

  • "My boss is a very laid-back guy. He always lets me know when I've done a good job. When he's upset about something, he doesn't take it out on everyone in the office."

  • "The best boss I worked for had the attitude that all of his subordinates were important. I remember talking with him at one point when he was very upset about the fact that he couldn't convince his bosses to pay a reasonable wage to his workers. Because this boss let his workers know their work was important, and because he actively fought upper management on their behalf, his workers gave their best efforts for this boss. I myself would be willing to shovel behind the elephants to work for this boss, because he respects my work and my opinions. In other words, this boss respects me."

  • "My boss would tell me every time I did something correct that it was 'perfect'. She always made sure I knew what was expected of her and always welcomed my opinions. She shared stories with me and kept our communication open. When I was offered another job without looking for it, she totally supported me, even though she said, 'Where am I going to find someone to replace you?'. After being with her only a short time, she bought me a little gift on my last day and thanked me for all the great work. What a great boss!"

  • My boss respects people and doesn't treat his subordinates like second-class citizens. Recently he told someone else I did a good job. It made me feel great.

  • "My boss always goes to bat for his subordinates. One time, a friend of mine was accused of a crime. This boss stood behind my friend until my friend was found innocent."

  • "My office was flooded when a construction worker damaged the sprinkler system on the floor above. When the insurance came through, they paid more than was needed to cover the damage. To thank the staff for keeping our heads and helping during the crisis, my boss gave us each a gift certificate for a massage and dinner for two at an expensive restaurant. How many bosses would share a windfall with their staff like that? It is so nice to know that we are appreciated, not just with verbal "attaboys" but with something tangible too."

  • "My boss is very understanding of my non-work needs. She lets me have time off when I need it, supports my going back to school, even supports my leaving to get a better job!"

  • "Right before accepting a new job offer, I found out I had to have major surgery. I called my prospective boss and explained the situation. My boss was very supportive. He arranged for me to go on disability leave the very first day of my new job. I was expecting to receive only a partial paycheck, since disability insurance usually covers only a fraction of one's salary. Well, I received my first paycheck, while I was home recuperating from the surgery - and it was a full paycheck! Thinking there must be a mistake, I called my new boss to tell him. He said, 'Oh, no, it's not a mistake. We decided to pay you in full for the time it takes you to recover. Have a good recovery and come back when you can.' I hung up the phone and cried tears of joy. This organization will have a loyal employee for life."

  • "My boss treats everyone fairly and tells everyone of her expectations. She is non-threatening when she corrects me. She helps lift people's self-esteem, yet gets her message across."

  • "One time I was having problems with another worker. My boss talked to both of us as a mediator. She cleared the air between us as we expressed things to each other. It really helped change our unit in a positive way."

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