In the introduction to Good Boss, Bad Boss, I emphasize that -- following an inspiring comment from my wife, Marina, who has worked in numerous management positions -- my motivation for writing it was to describe the moods and moves of the best bosses. Or as Marina put it, to draw on the best evidence and cases I could find to show "what that looks like." I sometimes worry that in talking about bossholes, brassholes, and assholes that I emphasize bad bosses too much. I think it is important to keep in mind that most bosses want to be both competent and caring, and there are a lot of good bosses out there who are aiming to hone their craft. Those are the people that I had in mind when I wrote the book -- not so much the losers and jerks.
Toward the end, a new study came out today that reinforces this positive spirit. It is based on a nice random probability sample of Americans by StrategyOne, which suggests that most working Americans have good bosses. In this survey, over 80% of respondents reported that they felt respected by their bosses and that their bosses respect their work. There was evidence that some people out there fear their bosses, as 26% feared being fired by their bosses if they took a day off from work. On the whole, however, this survey paints a picture of people who are generally satisfied with their work, bosses, and companies -- although I given all that, I found it strange that 56% would be at least somewhat interested in leaving for a job with the same compensation elsewhere. Perhaps that was explained in part by the general job insecurity out there, which you see in this survey as well, with 44% reporting that they have had their pay cut in the last couple years and 46% reporting being concerned about losing their jobs.