What It Takes to Be the Best Boss According to Top CEOs (Part 2)

What does it take to be the best boss today?

Companies in the past may have thrived with a rigid top-down management style. But thanks in great part to changing consumer preferences and a smarter millennial workforce, companies now have to simply be more than a service provider or manufacturer.

They have to care more about the environment they’re in, their customers and their employees. That, or risk losing their share of a more informed and conscious potential clientele and/or the talents and skills that an abundant market of millennial professionals to help secure their survival and growth.

It is no surprise then that companies have undergone a reevaluation of their views and attitudes. And with it, the inevitable change in the way owners and managers handle their employees, adopting a servant-leader style.

If you want proof, then let these top CEOs show how to be a boss like a pro servant.


  1. Harold MacDowell, TDIndustries CEO


How does a leading mechanical construction company in Dallas, Texas lead its employees?

Its CEO of 15 years now Harold MacDowell believes that its a commitment to servant leadership that has kept their employees feeling valued and respected, and in turn, kept them from going away.

Considering their history, it’s not just that.

“We’ve learned through every down cycle in the economy of the need to react quickly, and look far enough ahead to be sure we have the revenue we need to keep people employed, said MacDowell.

No wonder that for 20 continuous years now, they have been among those hailed as Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies.


  1. Bob Chapman, Barry-Wehmiller CEO


Becoming Barry-Wehmiller’s CEO in 1975 at age 30, Bob Champan thought that being a company leader’s primary focus should be on gaining financial success.

He soon realized however that to make employees stay and do better at their jobs, you have to treat them more as individuals who deserve appreciation and acknowledgment and not just people receiving paychecks.

Writing his leadership journey in his book aptly titled, Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Treating Your People Like Family, Chapman stressed how important it is to care for your employees as part of your extended family.

“I was in the midst of raising six kids, feeling the deep sense of responsibility of making sure they were cared for and had the tools to develop into the people they were meant to be,” wrote Chapman on his blog.


  1. Garry Ridge, WD-40 Company CEO

WD-40 has been a staple of every hardware store and, in fact, most garages.

And that established success comes from not one person, but an entire tribe, working together. Of course, there is much to say about that tribe’s chief captain, CEO Garry Ridge.

Ridge believes in creating lasting and meaningful memories in their employees’ minds. He is a strong believer that leadership is not about instilling fear but maintaining an atmosphere of trust.

In an interview with Forbes, he said this about his mantra on working with their people

“Leadership is about learning and teaching. Why waste getting old if you can’t get wise? We have no mistakes here, we have learning moments,”

Categorizing mistakes as learning moments? There is much to learn in that alone indeed.

Whether you treat employees as part of your community, tribe, or family, make sure that it is one born out of care and compassion. As the adage goes, love begets love. And that is something that most people never fail to miss, be they your employees or customers.


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