There are all sorts of training materials devoted to the secrets behind being a successful supervisor. Is it integrity? Is it competence? Is it fairness? Is it trustworthiness? Or is it understanding?
I think that this is all a little too specific. In fact, so specific that whenever this topic is addressed in some classroom setting, the instructors inevitably provide in one way or another a huge list of 50 or 100 adjectives that describe different desirable attributes that people may want in a supervisor. Many of these words have similar and overlapping meanings as other words. Worse, students are then asked to choose several as a demonstration that different employees prefer different types of supervisors.
I submit to you that instead of thinking of specific attributes, we should be thinking of general attributes that make someone a good supervisor. I have only 2 general attributes, and in them you can see many, many of the aforementioned specific attributes:
- Help employees by making it easier do their work properly. (Loose translation: Cut the bullshit.)
- Protect good employees from bad employees. (Loose translation: It drives people nuts if you don’t give those bad employees the heaping amounts of shit they deserve.)
That’s all I ask.
If we look at it this way, it’s apparent that what people want in supervisors is not that varied after all.