It seems that everywhere you look you can find advice about how to be a better boss.  There are studies and programs and hints to help leadership be the best at supporting their troops.  The traditional mentality is to assume that a “better” boss is hands-on involved, actively participating and stewarding the ship through the rough and tumble workday.

But what if your boss seems to be an absentee?  Can he or she be a “good” boss without a strong physical or electronic presence?  If you have a supervisor with a light touch you might want to take a minute and appreciate his or her management style.  It can be empowering to work for someone that does not micro manage.  Consider what this supervisory style implies about how your boss thinks of you:

  • Trust.  Warren Buffet said “hire well, manage little”.  A boss that is relatively hands off probably trusts that you are capable and will successfully complete your assignments without too much intervention.
  • Appreciation.  In a workday with lots to do, your boss and your coworkers are likely to be thankful that they don’t have to get involved in your assignments and help you with your work as well as do their own.  They are probably grateful that you are capable of getting your projects done solo.
  • Flexibility.  A hands-off approach to management implies that your boss is comfortable with your approach and does not need to specify a strict work style.  This mentality allows you to utilize your own personality and tactics when you tackle your assignments.

Most important, working in an environment for a supervisor that doesn’t over-direct everything means that your boss is letting you lead the charge and implies that he or she believes that you have something to add to the process.  It can also mean that your boss believes that he or she can learn from you and the way that you do things.

Isn’t this a nice opportunity? Not everyone gets the chance to explore an assignment with his or her own method.  A boss that gives you more freedom could possibly be the “better boss”.