It's tough being the boss.
At the end of the day, everything falls on your shoulders. You are the one who has to make the final call, who has to make sure there is enough work coming through the door, to make sure there's meat on the table so everyone gets fed.
If you have a really great boss who embodies any of the below, I encourage you to share this with them. They deserve to know that you see how much they give and give and give.
Great bosses do the following:
1. Ask you if everything is ok.
How many times have you sat there having a really bad day, and did your boss pop by and say, "Hey, is everything OK?" Think about how many things she is juggling in her head at any given time. Yes, you are an employee, but in that moment, she is taking the time to pause and see you as a person. Don't take that for granted.
2. Encourage pursuits unrelated to your job.
Great bosses know that what you do in the office isn't your "end-all." Hopefully, you enjoy it, but come on, everyone has hobbies and other things they want to do with their life too. Great bosses know this, and encourage your activity outside the office as much as your responsibilities within it.
3. Make you feel heard.
Even if you aren't one of the "key players" in your organization, a great boss always wants his or her employees to feel heard. They put processes in place so that everyone, in some way, has a voice, and can speak up and share feedback when it is appropriate. Great bosses know that sometimes the best insight comes from the people in the trenches.
4. Celebrate the small wins as much as the big wins.
Some bosses care only about the big wins, the home runs. But really great bosses know that what seems like a small win to them might be a big win to someone else--and they are there to acknowledge a job well done.
5. Take the time to teach.
Great bosses know that if their employees aren't giving them what they asked for, then they are simply not being given the instructions they need to be successful. Great bosses take the time to slow down and teach what is necessary so that all on the team can be successful together.
6. Walk the walk and talk the talk.
Some bosses do a lot of talking and not a whole lot of walking. Great bosses lead by example, doing what they preach just as much as they preach it. This makes them incredible leaders, because what they are saying vocally is rooted in day-to-day habit.
7. Seek to make others great at what they do.
And finally, really great bosses strive to make those around them better. They invest in their employees and co-workers, and give them the opportunities they need to learn, grow, and ultimately become successful. Great bosses aim to lift others up, and help them achieve their own goals as well.