Editor’s Note: Bosses. What Makes Them Tick?

Jan 30, 2015 1 Min Read


When our team chose the theme ‘Deconstructing Bosses’, I realise I set myself up to write about my boss in the same issue my boss was to write about bosses in general. A younger form of myself might have been hesitant, but it is precisely the point of many an author in this issue that open dialogue and understanding of what drives team members (including its leaders) are essential ingredients for high performing teams.

With his wealth of years working in different countries and types of businesses, Roshan Thiran teases out what makes a good boss, and also a bad boss, offering practical advice on how to become the former.

On a related note, Mitch Ditkoff asserts that the role of managers should evolve if employees are to feel empowered to think, challenge the status quo and contribute to the growth of a company.

Looking at relationships between leaders and their teams, we decided to revisit the call to ‘manage your boss’ which first came more than three decades ago, to see how this advice holds in the light of today’s workplace dynamics.

But don’t bosses need to understand themselves too? Chris Roebuck reiterates that collaboration between leaders and their teams is the key to success – saying that it’s now more about “we” than “me”. And Dr Victor Tan shares his experiences of seeing and addressing the irrational behaviour of leaders when faced with the need for change.

There’s introspection, then there’s looking deep into how our brains function! Dr Travis Bradberry helps us understand how we can increase our emotional intelligence, and indeed the impact it has on our professional success.

Jonathan Yabut expounds on an area I still need to work on! Knowing that it is your right to say ‘no’, knowing when and how to say ‘no’ and being deliberate in focusing and becoming great at 1–2 big things.

Not satisfied with just knowing when to say ‘no’, Elisa Dass poses the question “Would you stand up and disagree strongly with your boss if his/her decisions are obviously wrong?” and suggests that we don’t just agree to disagree.

So let me end with a paragraph free of the negative! In Starting Young, Eibhlin Lim shares some great insights from young CEOs as she addresses the topic of bridging gaps in the workplace.

Everyday is a new and somewhat startling experience at Leaderonomics and I am happy to report I have more than survived this issue writing on the topic of ‘bosses’ with my boss. As always, I have learnt greatly from our writers and contributors and hope you took away some lessons too.

Have a fantastic weekend!


Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 31 January 2015

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Lay Hsuan was part of the content curation team for Leaderonomics.com, playing the role of a content gatekeeper as well as ensuring the integrity of stories that came in. She was an occasional writer for the team and was previously the caretaker for Leaderonomics social media channels. She is still happiest when you leave comments on the website, or subscribe to Leader's Digest, or share Leaderonomics content on social media.

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