Why Nice Bosses Finish First

by Purpose Unlimited

Many bosses (not leaders) assume that in order to be effective they must be tough on their employees. For one reason or another, perhaps cultural norms have led them to believe that looking “soft” will decrease employee motivation and respect for them overall. From my personal experience, I’ve found the opposite to be true.

According to Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0, “When it comes to success as a leader, radically tough leadership styles are exceptions to the rule, not the rule.”  Furthermore, in a recent article of his entitled, Why Nice Bosses Finish First, he mentions that recent research has shown “overly tough bosses create significant health and motivation problems in their employees, which will make you think twice about taking the tough-as-nails approach.”

So, what exactly does a “nice” boss look like, and how does one pull this off without being a push over?

  • They’re strong without being harsh
  • They’re confident, without being cocky
  • They stay positive, but remain realistic
  • They’re role models, not preachers
  • They’re willing to take a bullet for their people
  • They balance work and fun
  • They form personal connections
  • They deliver feedback flawlessly
  • They’re generous

Learn More: Dr. Travis Bradberry, July 17th, 2016.


Kind leaders are dynamic; they meld a variety of unique skills into an integrated whole. Incorporate the behaviors above into your repertoire, and you’ll see immediate improvement in your leadership skills.

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