The ability to respond to, relate to, listen to, and learn from one's leader.


Bosses can make your work exciting and something to look forward to each day, or a place that you dread visiting. They can also serve as a mentor and champion you for new roles and opportunities. So it makes clear sense to do all that is within your power to have a good relationship with your boss.

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.Hebrews 13:17

Skilled Characteristics

  • Relates

    Responds and relates well to those in authority

  • Hard Worker

    Work hards, despite how enjoyable the work is

  • Open

    Is open to learning from one’s own leader

  • Learner

    Likes to learn from those who have experience

  • Likes Challenge

    Easy to challenge and develop

  • Coachable

    Is comfortably coachable

“In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.”

– Ken Blanchard

Unskilled Characteristics

  • Discomfort

    Not comfortable with those in authority

  • Tense

    May be tense in an authority’s presence

  • Closed

    May not be open to coaching or direction from someone in authority over them

  • Dislikes Criticism

    Problems dealing comfortably with negative feedback

  • Dislikes Authority

    Poor relationships with those in authority – believes that bosses get in the way of working productively

“By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.”

– Robert Frost

Causes of Weakness

  • Jealousy

    Jealous of one’s boss

  • Questions Competence

    Does not have confidence or trust in the skills, character or intelligence of one’s boss

  • Independent

    An independent person who doesn’t like to be told what to do

  • Closed to Feedback

    Is not open to critique or negative feedback from others, including the boss

  • Strong Leader

    Likes to be in charge, but not be a follower

  • Bad Boss

    Boss is controlling or overbearing or micromanages

“Don’t blame the boss. He has enough problems.”

– Donald Rumsfeld


Review the simple application steps below and choose 1 or 2 things you can do to spur yourself on to further growth.

  • Value Accountability

    VALUE ACCOUNTABILITY: We all need accountability. Yes, God is our ultimate accountability. But we also need to be accountable to people. This includes being accountable to our spouse, our friends, our church family, our colleagues and our boss. We should seek out accountability for our own good. It is an invaluable form of feedback and self-reflection and helps strengthen a person’s overall health, authenticity, and character.

  • Boss' Shoes

    PUT YOURSELF IN YOUR BOSS’ SHOES: Figure out the challenges your boss is facing or the questions that may be on his/her mind and be prepared to offer solutions. Be understanding.

  • Show Value

    SHOW VALUE: Be the kind of person who speaks with facts, confidence and reasonable suggestions that produce results. Look for opportunities to serve.

  • Make Your Boss Look Good

    MAKE YOUR BOSS LOOK GOOD: Don’t correct your boss in front of others – do it in private. Speak words of encouragement and appreciation about your boss in front of others.

  • How to Communicate

    WHEN AND HOW TO COMMUNICATE: What is your boss’s preferred method of communication? Do they prefer for you to email them, SMS them, call them, speak to them face to face, or send a Facebook message? Make it easier on your boss by using his/her preferred communication method. Does your boss like details or just the bottom line? Does your boss like frequent updates about progress and problems, or do they prefer periodic updates in an email or during a meeting? Are there particular times of the day or days of the week that are more convenient for your boss to have disussions with you? All of these suggestions are just showing thoughtfulness, and they are things that we can all do (including your boss) to be more effective communicators.

  • Ask for Feedback

    ASK FOR FEEDBACK: Feedback is one of the most powerful influencers of a person’s performance and ongoing improvement. So whether your boss naturally gives you feedback or not, it’s always a good thing to ask your boss for feedback. Don’t be afraid. As things like: What am I doing well? What can I improve on? What suggestions do you have for me? How can I help you or the team?

  • Get Personal

    GET PERSONAL: You don’t have to be best friends with your boss, but it certainly helps to have a friendly relationship with him/her. Show your boss that you care about them by asking them things like: How are you doing? How was your weekend? Learn about their interests and hobbies and family situations and ask about them.

  • Offer Help

    OFFER HELP: One the quickest ways to let your boss know that you are on his/her side is to simply ask periodically how you can help. Then, do so!

  • Under Promise - Over Deliver

    UNDER-PROMISE AND OVER-DELIVER: Exceed your boss’s expectations by only promising to be able to do/accomplish things that you are sure you can do (on time). Always strive to accomplish a little bit more than you promised, or faster, or with higher quality or at lower cost.

  • Consider Leaving

    CONSIDER LEAVING: Sometimes the best thing for you to do is leave. Pray to God, talk to friends and mentors, and make sure you’ve tried the other advice listed here. If you determine that the job or your boss is simply not a good fit for you, or if your boss treats you in an unhealthy or abusive way, you may need to work elsewhere. Before you make a final decision, discuss the issues directly with your boss and give him/her a chance to respond and address the situation.