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What Scientific Research Has to Say About the Success and Failure of Bosses at Work

scientific research, failure of bosses, success of bosses

Over the past decades, many scientific research firms have conducted studies on the leadership traits and characteristics of bosses at work. More than 150,000 people from sales and marketing companies were interviewed and assessed. Aside from this, 9,000 sales managers were also interviewed and assessed. Assessment also included answering survey questions.

All this statistical analysis were also studied and compared to past cumulative data gathered in the 1990’s. So, based on actual success versus failure statistics, successful bosses tend to be:

Humble Rather than Arrogant

Failed bosses defined their role as being the person to tell people what to do. Employees perceived them as obnoxious know-it-alls who need other people to do the jobs they were incapable of doing. Some bosses also tended to be arrogant to the point of refusing to listen to criticism.

On the other hand, successful bosses put themselves and their own egos into the background. Instead, they focused on motivating employees on their jobs and showed them how to do things instead of telling them what to do. They even went out of their way to coach employees to perform to their highest potential.

Flexible Rather than Rigid

Failed bosses were always narcissistic and tended to see things only from their vantage point. Thus, when change needed to happen, they couldn’t tolerate it, especially if it favored the employees. Naturally, these rigid bosses almost found it impossible to get their employees to embrace change when it was already necessary.

Successful bosses knew that adapting to new conditions requires personal flexibility in order to inspire similar flexibility with all the other employees. This is your “lead by example” flexibility character.

Straightforward Rather than Evasive

Failed bosses will always try to manipulate employees using half-truths that left false impressions and often had employees feeling complete distrust with their bosses. When employees realized they’ve been lied to, they felt resentful and disloyal.

Successful bosses give employees the exact information that is needed to make the best decisions, even if that information is difficult or sensitive.

Forward Thinking Rather than Improvisational

Failed bosses often attempted to run their organizations on an ad-hoc basis, that is, simply reacting to everyday occurrences. They were constantly shifting gears and direction, creating a more-or-less constant state of confusion among the employees.

Successful bosses always planned out everything and made sure it was shared to everyone and that everyone understood it. They would change or assimilate plans to shifting conditions, but did so carefully and after consulting with employees.

Precise Rather than Vague

Failed bosses gave out unclear job or project goals that proved difficult for employees to translate to actual action. As a result, employees were made to do multi-tasking in order to get things done when the work load could have been fairly shared among employees.

Successful bosses let employees know exactly what was expected of them, in sufficient detail so that there was no ambiguity.

Patient Rather than Ill-Tempered

Failed bosses blew up and threw fits when things went wrong or mistakes were made. Their employees became more afraid of doing things wrong than eager to do things right.

Successful bosses confront problems by listening carefully, considering options, and deciding on the best approach.

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