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How many great leaders or influential bosses have you worked for?


SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How many great leaders or influential bosses have you worked for?

  • Many — I’ve lost count: 3%
  • A few — It’s an elite group: 71%
  • One — They were the best leader I’ve ever had: 15%
  • None — I’ve not been so lucky: 11%

The great ones are rare. The vast majority of you point out that great bosses are hard to find. A point to ponder is if you had a boss you didn’t think was great at the time but upon reflection realize they taught you more than you appreciated. Sometimes looking back on your past can offer insights not only about possibly great bosses you’ve had but also what you can be doing right now to be a great boss for your team members. What set those great bosses apart? What behaviors should you be emulating to be as great as they were? Periodic reflection on prior roles and relationships can yield great insights.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He’s the author of three leadership books: “One Piece of Paper,” “Lead Inside the Box,” and “The Elegant Pitch.”