They believe in hiring people who are smarter than they are, and they don’t feel threatened by that.
Likewise, they believe in hiring people who are more talented than they are in their specific profession (e.g., Design managers hiring more talented designers).
They believe in hiring people who are not like them or their friends. They know that a homogenous team is less likely to be effective and successful.
They believe in cognitive diversity too. They know that you need people who think differently from each other to come up with the most creative and innovative solutions.
They believe in compassionate leadership and know that compassion does not equate to weakness as a leader.
They believe in honest and open communication, in both directions. They are honest with their team and they expect people to be honest with them too, even if it requires sharing bad news with the boss.
They believe in developing and promoting talent within the organization and company, vs. always hiring new leadership from the outside.
They believe in providing employees with a real career path inside the company and invest in their career development.
They believe in standing up to executive leadership when necessary and taking a stand on important issues vs. being a “Yes man.”
Similarly, they believe in shielding their team from the crap that sometimes comes down from above, so that they can focus on doing their jobs.
They believe in setting clear goals and expectations so that you know exactly what you need to do in order to succeed.
They believe in swiftly dealing with morale issues before they get out of hand.
They believe in helping low performers get the help they need to improve, and dealing with people who still can’t meet performance expectations.
They believe in the power of positive feedback, but also know how to deliver constructive criticism in a way that isn’t demoralizing.
They believe that employees deserve a personal life and shouldn’t always be working crazy hours (even though it may occasionally be necessary).
They believe in you. You can tell when a boss truly believes in you, supports you, and values you. When you have a boss like that, you know how awesome that feels.