What makes a good boss?

What qualities/attributes has your favorite boss had and can you name specific examples that make you enjoy working more where you currently work?

How much of a pay cut would you take to have a great boss?

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Comments (28)

Aug 1, 2018 - 12:49pm
m_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Looking for a bit of clarity:

-By includes you, do you mean that they allow for your input on key decisions? Would something like the ability for any employee in an organization to sit in on meetings even if it is about something outside their area of expertise be considered inclusive? And by front line what do you mean exactly?

-By "you can go to for non-work shit too" I'm guessing you mean you can talk to them about non-work issues too?

Thanks for your help!

Aug 1, 2018 - 1:33pm
The Pharma Guy, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Includes means lets you talk and contribute at meetings, asks for your opinion about something and knows your skills so you can be brought in to help e.g. 'hey, John Doe knows some programming, get him to take a look at the software too'.

Non-work stuff means things like social situations. If he invited you out before with the team, it's nice to have someone (perhaps only 1-2 levels above you) you can ask out for a beer if the team meets again e.g. if your boss in an associate 'hey, some of the analysts and associates are going for beers - you game?' Some bosses may find that rude but I would find them stuck up. No issue mingling with lower ranked colleagues (then again, if you're an analyst don't go knocking on a Partner's door with the same request). It also means generally asking for career advice and having someone can be an all-round mentor, not just someone who helps with work tasks.

Aug 1, 2018 - 12:30pm
Kassad, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Having 10+ more years of experience than you while being successful at their career (not in a slump, developing new skills, the guy people want to meet at events). I find that the best bosses I've had universally fit that description. The other attributes like being understanding, communicating well, knowing their shit, etc. all seem to come along with those 2 circumstances.

in it 2 win it
  • 2
Aug 1, 2018 - 12:51pm
m_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

By 10+ years of experience do you mean that they have to be more technically competent than you? If you were working at a small firm 10 - 30 people, would you still have that expectation? What defines knowing their shit? Just not making stupid decisions or knowing when to defer to you if they don't know enough about something?

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Aug 1, 2018 - 1:54pm
yungman91, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I think this guy is a great boss: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/refusing-to-party-with-boss-bad-move

  • 2
Aug 1, 2018 - 1:55pm
DickFuld, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The best boss I ever had kept giving me stretch responsibilities at every turn. Never really stopped giving more responsibility until you tapped out, which for me was never. I kept getting larger and larger teams working for me in sometimes disparate areas. Also, paid me well given my tenure at the time.

Aug 1, 2018 - 7:33pm
DickFuld, what's your opinion? Comment below:
How does someone draw the line between assigning people too much and overwhelming them?

It was not more grunt work. It was taking on P&L responsibilities for more groups.

To answer you: You keep pushing until they struggle. If they handle it, you give them more.

Aug 8, 2018 - 7:29am
dutchduke, what's your opinion? Comment below:
How does someone draw the line between assigning people too much and overwhelming them?

You sound like you are asking questions for more details on some assignment you are writing... FOH

Aug 6, 2018 - 2:33pm
NoEquityResearch, what's your opinion? Comment below:

How can I give 100 bananas at once DickFuld ? This is an awesome response.

A good boss, gives you more responsibility, gives you credit for your work, and gives you a shot at doing things above your pay grade when you can get them done. If you're good at your job, you won't be taking a pay cut with a boss like that - you'll earn more.

Most Helpful
Aug 6, 2018 - 2:26pm
TheGrind, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I've got the best boss I've ever had now, which has made me surprisingly anxious about making a move (I keep pushing back my search dates). Your job, after all, is only really as good as your boss.

The things that make him great:

Coaches and develops. Lets me sit in on plenty of his meetings w/ people levels above so I see how my efforts support our bottom line. Teaches me more of what he does so that I can fill in/expand my skillset

Gives me increasing responsibility. I've jumped in whenever he was shorthanded and shown a willingness to stay late to help him get things done. In turn, within a year I've gone from the low man on the totem pole to managing several of our processes, and he lets me take the lead on presenting anything I've driven.

Gives instructions in a clear and concise manner, so that I'm never spinning my wheels about what he actually wants. We generally start at the end of what he's looking for and I have leeway on how to get us there.

Constructive criticism. Gives me targeted areas for improvement w/ plenty of specific examples

Hands out work he's willing to do or has done multiple times himself.

Isn't a dick. He's a genuinely cool dude. Doesn't yell or bark out orders, and won't throw you under the bus over a mistake. I get the impression he's genuinely interested in my career progression, as he's pretty satisfied with where he's ended up and is on the shortlist for the C-level.

  • 8
Aug 6, 2018 - 3:15pm
CreditGuy19, what's your opinion? Comment below:

There was a WSJ article talking about how the best superiors will genuinely strive to make sure that their employees succeed. In addition to the many great traits noted before me, having a boss who will push you for the next job makes a huge difference. My last boss literally took me under his wing and told me outright on day one to "stick with me for 3 years and you write your own ticket." Having his name as a recommendation played a major part in getting my most recent position, in addition to the experience he was able to give me.

Aug 6, 2018 - 3:17pm
GoldenCinderblock, what's your opinion? Comment below:

he lets you give head for promotions


Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

Aug 6, 2018 - 3:31pm
ProspectiveWiseMan, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Willing to take the time to sit with you and take you through things to help you understand.

Gives you more responsibility/mobility than others on the floor generally receive from their directors. Pretty hands off management style.

Not too big on FaceTime. If work is done and doesn't need anything, see you tomorrow.

Steps in if you do make a mistake and will take the stick for you.

Really good at managing his own time, so I won't be getting mails late in the evening for things he needs me to do. Always tries to send me his feedback fairly early so I don't need to stay in too late.

That's my current boss. I'd like a pay hike to move to a worse one.

Aug 6, 2018 - 11:31pm
Angus Macgyver, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Best boss I had was pretty early on in my career - I think when I was still a 2nd year?

Anyway, the #1 thing that really stands out to me is that he never, ever threw me under the bus. I've seen plenty of mid to senior level folk do it to me and to others, but that guy never did. I was working with him on a deal once and fucked up some stuff that the client asked about in a meeting, and right away he was all "We will re-examine these numbers" and "Our team (as in all of us, collectively) might have made a mistake". Could have laid all the blame at my feet (and I was the one who fucked up, so it would have been deserved) but he didn't.

To this day I still check in with him now and then. Catch up whenever possible. Also when I left the firm I bought him a hella good whiskey. Good bloke.

Aug 8, 2018 - 12:55pm
m_1, what's your opinion? Comment below:

No, just integrated the pain points into the copy used on the job postings. Nobody else does that. Go read some postings and you'll see what I mean. The team I work with primarily is ridiculously stacked and they don't work for me strictly for cash comp. Not sure why you would infer that.

Aug 7, 2018 - 12:39am
Mostly Random Dude, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am pretty sure it depends on the stage of your career. E.g. what you want as PM from the partner(s) of the fund is very different from what you'd want as an analyst from your VP or associate. The universal is probably "don't be a douche", though

I have a friend who lives in the country, and it's supposed to be an hour from 42nd Street. A lie! The only thing that's an hour from 42nd Street is 43rd Street!
Aug 12, 2018 - 12:58pm
therealgekko, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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Aug 13, 2018 - 10:13am
datguy345, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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