Everyone wants a "good" boss. This is the manager is who nice, let's you take off when you need and doesn't yell at you.
But a "good" boss doesn't always help your career. In fact, the boss that some would classify as "bad" because he or she is demanding, calls you out when you screw up and isn't always nice may be better for you in the long run.
First, let me state that no one should work with a boss who is abusive, either emotionally, mentally or physically.
But I do think that workers sometimes get so wrapped up in finding the nice boss they really make a mistake in working for him or her.
The best kind of bosses:
- Challenge you. They aren't willing to let you just follow your job description. They expect you to reach for new goals.
- Make you feel uncomfortable. They don't let you rest on your laurels -- they push you to learn new things constantly and push you outside of your comfort zone. They require you to make key decisions and then see them through.
- Don't offer a lot of compliments. If you're getting "good job!" every time you load new paper into the copier, then you're going to become blase about words of recognition. You want someone who has high standards and expects you to meet or exceed them before offering words of praise.
- Hold you accountable. There's no fudging deadlines without a darn good reason, and if you screw up, you better have a good reason and a way to make it right.
- Force you to delegate. If you want to rise in the ranks, you've got to focus on the right skills and experience -- and that means learning to delegate tasks that can be done by someone else.
No one wants to work for an a**hole boss, but there's a difference between that kind of jerk and bosses who challenge you, who sometimes frustrate you -- but are always there to help you to grow in your career.