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4 Ways to Identify a Great Boss & Working Environment

If you have missed the first part of this story "Choosing an offer that won't burn you out", you may read it first.

Research by Google identifying the dynamics of workplace effectiveness revealed 5 key components to an effective team listed below in order of importance.

  • Psychological Safety
  • Dependability
  • Structure & Clarity
  • Meaning
  • Impact

Comparing findings and observations from Google with what Huang shared, we found 4 signature markers of a great leader.

1. They are good communicators

Communication is key, and when it breaks down, it can be one of the most frustrating things for an employee. When you’re in the interview room, take note of the interviewer’s communication style. How well are they communicating their vision and are they taking the time to listen to your response. If they’re rambling on without slowing down to listen to pay attention, then this may be a potential red light.

2. Invests in people’s individual growth

A good leader is someone who genuinely cares about their subordinates and this should extend to you, their potential hire. How interested are they towards you as an individual beyond the spec sheet of accomplishments listed in your CV?

Leaders who are invested in people will think not only about how well a candidate can complete the team, they’ll also consider the cultural and career fit and whether the job opportunity will allow for individual growth.

3. Has a clear vision and strategy

Great leaders have a destination in mind. Not only should they have a clear vision and strategy themselves, they should also be able to relay their vision to their subordinates. To lead means the leader themselves need to have a realistic expectation of what is needed to execute the strategy and each member's role in the outcome. By having a clear vision and strategy, leaders can set clear expectations, promoting an accountable environment of dependability.

4. Shows trust & credits subordinates

Lastly, ask them about their team and accomplishments. Great leaders and managers are ones who trust their team, this means giving them the flexibility to try different things and giving credit where credit is due. Quoting the words of Simon Sinek:

“It is a leader’s job instead to take responsibility for the success of each member of his crew. It is the leader’s job to ensure that they are well trained and feel confident to perform their duties. To give them responsibility and hold them accountable to advance the mission.”


Think long term
More than just the salary and benefits, think long term especially when you have the benefit of choice with a few career accomplishments under your belt. Take the time to evaluate your offer and your potential colleagues (the people you'll face day in day out) as they can make a world of a difference.

Learn to ask the right questions
Correct your mindset, know that the interview process is one that goes both ways. Take the opportunity to ask the right questions that'll help you better evaluate the cultural fit of the opportunity.

Careful to fall into the micromanagement trap
When leaders lose grasp of control, they sometimes resort to micromanagement. Be careful not to fall into the same trap of micromanaging your subordinates, and running the risk of driving out your best talent.