Here’s What Makes an Amazing Boss

According to multiple surveys of thousands of employees

5 min readNov 2, 2021


Credit: Khakimullin Aleksandr on Shutterstock

Google spent ten years collecting data on what makes an effective manager. Called Project Oxygen and detailed in a case study by Harvard Business Review, the study’s original findings came up with eight behaviors that the most effective managers had in common.

Things you may already intuitively feel made it to the list such as being a good coach, empowering your team/not micromanaging, being decisive, caring about the success and well-being of the team members, being a strong collaborator, having solid communication skills, and keeping your team informed, having required tech skills, and communicating a clear mission.

Many other studies and employee surveys all have many things in common revolving around these traits. So it’s not a mystery what makes an amazing boss if you just scratch the surface on the data out there.

But many leaders still don’t know or choose not to walk the walk. A Dale Carnegie Leadership Training study showed that the traits workers deem to be the most important in a manager are often the traits the managers show least often.

I’ve gathered the below information from the various referenced studies and surveys as well as pulled from my years of experience leading Marines, volunteers, and employees to help you find the answer to the question we all want to know:

How can I be a better boss?

Know What Makes a “Bad” Boss

Sometimes we can determine what makes a “good” boss by knowing what makes a “bad” one. The Predictive Index 2018 People Management Study surveyed 5,000 employees to find the qualities of a bad leader. Here are the top ten:

1. Poor communication

2. Plays favorites

3. Doesn’t show concern for employees’ career and personal development

4. Badmouths people behind their backs

5. Isn’t open or interested in feedback

6. Wants to prove him or herself right

7. Isn’t self-aware

8. Betrays trust

9. Doesn’t listen