What Do You Look For In a Good Army Boss?

The purpose of this post is to get your thoughts on what qualities you personally look for in a “good” Army boss.  In other words, what characteristics and traits do you think are most important in an Army boss?  To get the conversation going, I’ll share a few traits that are most important to me.

1. A Good Communicator: To me a good boss must be a good communicator. He or she must keep me in the loop, provide guidance and feedback and encourage two way communication. They will have an open door policy, and are always willing to have a talk.

2. A Strong Back Bone: I like a boss with a backbone. I define this as someone who isn’t scared to make a decision. It’s someone who will stand up for their subordinates when it is required. It’s someone who is confident, but not stuck on themselves.

3. Admit Their Own Mistakes: To me, a good boss can admit when they are wrong. No one is perfect. A good boss will be the first to admit when they make a poor decision. They are humble. There are many “would be” leaders who have a tendency to blame mistakes on any, and everything other than themselves. A true leader will take the blame and make changes to fix it.

4. Seeks Input From Staff: I believe that a good Army Boss will seek input from the people around them. They are open to new ideas and seek input from people on their staff. They ask questions, get their staff’s input, and then make a decision based upon the facts, their experiences and their personal judgement.

5. Vision: I believe that a good Army boss has vision. They have a game-plan for their section or unit. They have a why that drives everything they do. Most importantly, they share their vision with their followers. They also set goals to reach this vision.

Of course, there are many other great qualities that good leaders possess.  What do you look for in a good Army boss?  Just leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Also, if you have any questions, you can post those below and I will do my best to provide an answer. Thank you.

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12 thoughts on “What Do You Look For In a Good Army Boss?”

  1. Here’s a few things I look for in a good boss.

    1. Knows their job
    2. Compassionate
    3. Works hard
    4. Has a game plan
    5. Knows the strengths, weaknesses and capabilities of their team members

  2. I agree that the best leaders should be mentors to those they lead. The best leaders I have worked with have always kept career development in mind. If a leader can’t inspire those around him to better themselves, then they are failing them. The strong backbone comes into play with this as well, as you have to know the difference between mentoring someone and coddling them. The difference can be key to a leader.

    1. A good Army boss definitely does career planning with his or her followers. They teach them how to set goals, to identify what they want, what schools and jobs they need, and many other things. Additionally, your point about not coddling your soldiers is spot on.

      Thanks for the comment.
      Chuck

  3. To me, leadership is about being a good mentor. I want a leader who brings the best out of the people under his or her command. That way, there’s not so much need for the boss to be issuing orders or controlling what people do, because they already know what to do and can use their own judgment.

    1. I agree with you that leadership is about being a good mentor. But I also think that good leaders are good at getting things done through other people.

      The best bosses I ever worked for were visionaries. They have a “big picture” in mind and they shared that vision with their followers. They also made everyone feel like part of something bigger than themselves and they took the time to develop each person under them.

  4. Item 2 can sometimes mean upsetting some of your subordinates, which in a close-knit unit is sometimes difficult for leaders. One of Colin Powell’s leadership principles is “Good leaders sometimes make people unhappy,” meaning that the right decision will occasionally be received badly by some. However, if you consistently accommodate the complainers, those who don’t like change, or those who are just lazy, you’ll alienate your good people. Standing up to someone who gets in your face is easy. Standing up to someone who’s your buddy can be much harder.

    1. A good Army boss definitely makes people unhappy sometimes. No matter what you do you can’t please everyone. Worrying about pleasing your followers should never be a top priority. Instead, your job is to lead them! If they get angry with your decisions once in a while, so be it.

      Chuck

  5. These are all great characteristics of an army boss. Good army bosses also possess ambition, drive, and a willingness to help others to get the task done. It’s good to know there are still leaders who possess these characteristics, as they are the backbone of army units.

    1. Most bosses in the Army are good at what they do. Otherwise they wouldn’t be assigned to those duty positions.

      Of course, everyone is different and if you ask 10 people who have the same boss, if their boss is good, the answers will vary greatly.

      Most people confuse “liking their boss” with whether or not the boss is good. That’s really irrelevant. Just because you don’t like your boss doesn’t mean they aren’t good at what they do.

      Chuck

      1. Here’s what I look for in a good Army boss.

        1. Someone with experience – they must know their job
        2. Someone with integrity – they must say what they do and do what they say
        3. Someone with compassion – they must be compassionate
        4. Someone with the never quit attitude – they must have the warrior mentality
        5. Someone with technical and tactical expertise – they must be highly trained

        This is a good starting point.

      2. My idea of a good boss is:

        1. Someone who sets priorities and goals
        2. Someone that provides good guidance
        3. Someone that helps you out when asked
        4. Someone who is accessible
        5. Someone who supports your decisions and has your back

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