“How to Be a Great Boss” By Gino Wickman Book Review

Last Updated: September 23, 2023 | by Paul Harstrom

Behind every successful company lies the often unseen but vital influence of a wise and exceptional leader, the great boss, who watches every twist and turn within the organization. Let’s explore how to become that Great Boss in the light of Gino Wickman and Rene Boer’s book review.

A great boss doesn’t merely labor for the advancement of their company but also nurtures the well-being of their employees and team members, much like a diligent gardener tends to every plant in their garden.

If you’re grappling with the challenges of managing a company or seeking effective ways to lead your team, you need to look no further, as we’ve got you covered here.

How to be a Great Boss by Gino Wickman

This blog will delve deep into the wisdom of becoming a great boss, drawing insights from Gino Wickman and Rene Boer’s book “How To Be A Great Boss.”

Summary Of How To Be A Great Boss By Gino Wickman:

The distinction between a company with motivated, engaged employees and one with disengaged workers often boils down to the quality of supervision and how employees are treated by their bosses.

Just picture the impact on your company’s performance if your employees consistently delivered their best every day. In “How to Be a Great Boss,” Gino Wickman and Rene Boer present practical, actionable approaches to help you become a leader who inspires greatness.

They emphasize the importance of an organized, structured approach and underscore the critical roles of leadership, management, and accountability practices in your endeavor to become a great boss.

The book underscores the critical role of bosses in shaping employees’ engagement levels, as demonstrated by Gallup surveys showing varying degrees of employee engagement. The authors introduce the GWC tool, emphasizing that a great boss needs to:

  • Get It (understand the role)
  • Want It (desire to excel)
  • Possess the Capacity To Do It (emotional, intellectual, physical, and self-discipline capabilities)

GWC is an acronym for these three traits to help you identify areas of growth needed to become a great boss in whatever leadership role you are responsible for.

The authors of ‘How to be a Great Boss’ stress that leadership and management combined create accountability, with leadership focusing on the business’s vision and management, ensuring tasks are completed effectively or, in other words, gaining traction.

Five critical leadership practices are highlighted as:

  • Giving clear direction with a compelling vision.
  • Providing necessary tools and support.
  • Allowing employees to take ownership of their work.
  • Acting with the greater good in mind.
  • Taking breaks to remain energized and focused.

The book also introduces the concept of the Quarterly Conversation, a valuable tool for maintaining communication with team members, recognizing achievements, and addressing issues. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of creating the right team by aligning core values and skills.

The authors categorize organizational people issues into four scenarios:

  • right person/right seat
  • right person/wrong seat
  • wrong person/right seat
  • wrong person/wrong seat

They stress the significance of addressing these issues promptly to maintain a positive workplace culture of engagement and accountability.

The book emphasizes that great bosses continually raise expectations, invest in self-improvement, and hold their teams accountable to higher standards to achieve their maximum abilities.

‘How to Be a Great Boss’ is part of a broader series related to the Entrepreneurial Operating System or EOS®.

EOS® is a comprehensive toolkit designed to assist leadership teams in enhancing their organizations, gaining traction, and achieving growth.

The EOS® Model contains six Key Components: Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, and Traction. For a deeper understanding of EOS®, you can also explore the book review of Get a Grip By Gino Wickman.

Together, these resources offer valuable insights and actionable tools to help you become a great boss and drive positive change within your organization.

EOS® integrates proven principles and ideas from various sources—including The Emyth RevisitedScaling UpThe 4 Disciplines of Execution, and Good to Great—into a comprehensive operation system.

EOS® addresses 6 Core Fundamentals needed to build a successful and scalable business: Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process and Traction.

Entrepreneurial Operating System Model EOS

For the EOS® to work, you (the boss/leader/owner) must be willing to embrace 4 Mindset Shifts:

  1. Build a Leadership Team: You can’t be the one doing everything. 
  2. Companies grow in spurts and you will inevitably hit ceilings at individual, departmental and organizational levels. To bust through and soar ahead, your team must be able to simplify, delegate (so you keep elevating yourselves and your business), predict issues (for both short and long term), systemize and develop the right structure for your next phase of growth.
  3. Run your business on 1 operating system so everyone’s on the same page.
  4. Be open-minded: be honest and transparent about your vulnerabilities and become willing to adopt new ideas.

A Secret Trait That Makes You A Great Boss? Gino Wickman Book Review:

To know the most essential trait of becoming a great Boss, let’s just have a sneak peek into a Gallup survey. Surveys done by Gallup, a research company, show that many American employees are not really into their jobs.

About 31% are engaged, meaning they’re enthusiastic and committed to their work. On the flip side, 17.5% are actively disengaged, meaning they’re really unhappy, and the remaining 51% are not engaged, which means they’re just going through the motions.

The first group, the engaged ones, probably have great bosses because they come to work early, do their tasks well, stay late if needed, solve problems, and seem motivated. 

On the other hand, those in the latter two groups likely have bosses who aren’t doing a good job or don’t care about their employees.

The key message here is that if you want to succeed as a boss, you should aim to be in that first category – the one with engaged employees. Making your team motivated and engaged is an outstanding achievement for you as a great boss to scale your business.

Click here to read further about how to make your employees motivated and why your employees are your company’s great asset, not a liability.

Your team is essential; when they’re happy and motivated, your company does better. So, the idea is to become a great boss who inspires and supports your team to succeed.

Gino Wickman’s Framework For Assessing Your Great Boss Role:

Imagine you’re thinking about becoming a great boss, but you’re not sure if you’re up for the challenge. To figure it out, you can use something called the GWC tool, which helps you ask three crucial questions:

Do You “Get It”?

Do you naturally understand what it takes to be a boss? Are you so good at it that others don’t question your abilities? It’s about deeply understanding the job and what it takes to execute profitably.

Do You “Want It”?

This question is about your desire. Do you genuinely want to be a great boss? Were you not pressured into it, and are you willing to overcome obstacles that might come your way? It’s about your motivation.

Do You Have the “Capacity To Do It”?

This part involves four abilities:

  • Emotional: Can you connect with and understand the feelings of others?
  • Intellectual: Are you good at thinking critically and solving problems?
  • Physical: Do you have the energy to handle the workload?
  • Self-discipline: Can you manage your time well and prioritize tasks effectively?

The first two questions, “Get It” and “Want It,” are things you either have or don’t have. But for the third question, “Capacity to Do It,” you can develop these abilities over time with effort and practice. So, the GWC tool helps you figure out if you’re ready to take on the role of a great boss.

Entrepreneurial Operating System EOS Tools

Gino Wickman’s Time Management Tool:

Gino Wickman provides the “Delegate and Elevate” tool from EOS to manage time effectively. It is a practical guide for bosses to maximize their time and strengths.

It helps you figure out which tasks you should delegate to others so you can concentrate on being an effective boss.

Here’s how it works:

First, you make a comprehensive list of all the tasks you do for your business, ranging from daily routines to monthly responsibilities, ensuring you include all the details.

Next, you compare your list to a set of tasks provided by EOS® to ensure you haven’t missed any critical ones.

For each task on your list, you evaluate how you feel about it and how proficient you are at it. There are four possibilities:

  • Tasks you love and excel at
  • Tasks you like and are good at
  • Tasks you don’t like but are still good at
  • Tasks you neither like nor excel at

If most of your tasks fall into the first two categories (tasks you love and are good at or tasks you like and are good at), you’re on the right path to becoming a great boss.

However, if you can’t complete all the tasks on your list because of time constraints, that’s a clear indicator that you must delegate some of the work to others.

By going through this exercise, you gain insights into which tasks to retain and which ones to delegate, allowing you to focus your efforts on becoming an outstanding boss.

How Do A Great Boss Achieve Team Excellence?

Great bosses are known for assessing their teams and ensuring the right people surround them. To create a cohesive and efficient team, you first need to understand what “great people” means “The Right People in the Right Seats”: 

  • The Right People align with your company’s culture and share its core values. These individuals resonate with your organization’s mission and beliefs.
  • Right Seats are specific roles within the company that match an employee’s unique skills and passion. It’s where they can truly shine.

The right people grasp your company’s vision and blend seamlessly into its culture, actively contributing to its betterment. It’s crucial for your company to define its core values, encapsulating the qualities you seek in your people.

The “right seat” refers to a position within your organization, typically a subordinate role that reports to you as the boss. It’s essential to clearly outline the five major responsibilities of these positions so that the right person can precisely understand their role and expectations.

You can employ tools like GWC to assess if a person is the right fit for a specific role based on their ability to “Get It” (understand the role), “Want It” (desire to excel), and have the “Capacity To Do It” (possessing the necessary capabilities).

In essence, great bosses strive to assemble teams composed of individuals who not only share core values but also excel in roles that align with their skills and passions, ultimately contributing to the organization’s success.

Gino Wickman Head Shot Founder of EOS

Gino Wickman’s Strategies For Becoming A Great Boss:

The authors share a powerful concept about being a great boss in this part of the book. They say that a great boss creates a workplace where everyone is fully involved in their work and takes responsibility for their actions. To make this happen, they talk about four essential truths:

  • Creating a culture of accountability doesn’t have to be complicated. It involves following specific leadership and management principles consistently.
  • They emphasize the importance of being yourself as a boss. When you’re genuine, your team will trust and believe in you more.
  • The authors highlight that when you genuinely care about your employees’ well-being, work, and growth, they’re more likely to work effectively for you.

Great Boss Accountability through Leadership and Management:

Gino Wickman and Rene Boer also introduce the idea that accountability comes from a combination of leadership and management. Leadership involves:

  • Looking at the bigger picture.
  • Providing clear direction.
  • Creating a vision for the future.

On the other hand, management focuses on the day-to-day operations, setting clear expectations, good communication, and ensuring things are done efficiently. Together, leadership and management lead to accountability in the workplace.

The book highlights essential practices for both great leaders and managers. Great leaders are encouraged to follow five key practices:

  • You inspire your team with a clear vision that motivates everyone to work together toward common goals.
  • Support your team with the tools and resources they need to succeed, whether it’s training, technology, or time.
  • Trust your team to handle responsibilities independently. Micromanaging can hinder their progress.
  • Prioritize the well-being of your company and your team above personal interests. Ensure your actions align with your vision.
  • Schedule breaks to recharge and maintain confidence, which helps you lead effectively.

Great managers should focus on five management practices:

  • Communicate expectations regarding roles, core values, priorities, and performance indicators to your team.
  • Foster open communication by sharing positive and negative emotions, asking questions, rephrasing for clarity, and ensuring your team understands your messages.
  • Conduct regular team meetings that follow a consistent schedule to review priorities and metrics and address issues.
  • Hold offsite quarterly face-to-face meetings with each team member to discuss priorities, roles, and values, strengthening relationships.
  • Provide timely feedback, criticize privately, praise publicly, and maintain a professional boss-employee relationship.

The book also introduces the Three-Strike Rule, an EOS® tool to manage underperforming team members. This rule involves meetings to address issues and evaluate performance over 30 days, aiming for improvement.

If issues persist, it may lead to termination. These practices empower leaders and managers to create engaged, accountable, high-performing teams.

Role Of Effective Team Communication In Becoming a Great Boss:

The Quarterly Conversation is like a special meeting every three months between a boss and each team member. It’s a chance to sit down face-to-face and talk about important things like what’s going well, what’s not going well, and how everyone can work better together.

This meeting is usually held outside the regular office to make it more relaxed and personal. During this meeting, you ask your team members two essential questions:

  • First, you ask, “What’s Working?” This is where your team member tells you about the good stuff they’ve been doing, their achievements, and what they think is going right in their job and the organization. You listen carefully, share your thoughts, and give them credit for their hard work and progress.
  • Next, you ask, “What’s Not Working?” Here, you create a safe space for your team members to talk about problems or challenges they’ve faced. They can speak freely without interruptions. After they’ve shared, you provide your thoughts on what’s not working, and together, you figure out a plan to fix these issues if possible.

In addition to the Quarterly Conversations, there’s also the Annual Review. This is a yearly meeting where you sit down with your direct reports (those who report directly to you).

In this meeting, you talk about their performance over the past year. You acknowledge their significant achievements, discuss areas where they can improve, and devise a plan for the following year.

It’s like a yearly check-in to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards their goals.

You are invited to join our LEAD Diligently Mastermind Group of experienced advisors. Quickly fulfill your exciting potential to become a great boss for your company with:

  • Creative brainstorming sessions
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  • Team collaboration
  • Accountability to stay focused
  • Analyzing key indicators for insights
  • Attending informative seminars on the latest strategies
How to Be a Great Boss with EOS Right People, Right Seats

Gino Wickman’s Expertise To Handle Personnel Management Challenges:

As a boss, you’re likely to encounter four common personnel challenges, and it’s crucial to address them effectively:

Right Person, Right Seat:

Sometimes, you have the right person in the right role, but it’s essential not to take them for granted. These individuals contribute significantly to your team’s success, so recognize their efforts and provide the support they need.

Right Person, Wrong Seat:

You can have a great team member, but they’re not in a role where they can excel. They align with your company’s values and culture but might not produce the desired results or respond to feedback. In such cases, it’s vital to find them a more suitable position or help them exit gracefully.

Wrong Person, Right Seat:

There might be instances where someone isn’t the right fit for your organization, yet they manage to achieve results. However, their actions may undermine your values and team spirit. Addressing this issue can be challenging, but it’s necessary to maintain a positive workplace culture.

Wrong Person, Wrong Seat:

This is perhaps the most straightforward issue to identify. If you have someone who doesn’t belong in your team or organization, it’s best to take action swiftly. Ignoring this problem can have negative consequences and erode your team’s respect.

Bottom Line on “How to Be a Great Boss”:

In this Book review of “How to Be a Great Boss,” we have learned the essential traits and practices of Great bosses, given by Gino Wickman and Rene Boer, which aim to maximize their team’s potential by continually raising expectations and holding them to higher standards.

Addressing these personnel challenges effectively is critical to bringing out the best version of your supervision and maintaining a positive work environment.

Your insights matter! Comment below and let us know your thoughts on How to be a great boss.

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What is the GWC tool mentioned in the book “How to Be a Great Boss”?

The GWC tool assesses if you “Get It,” “Want It,” and have the “Capacity To Do It” to be a great boss.

How can I become a great boss?

To become a great boss, focus on leadership, management, accountability, and continuously improving your skills.

Why is accountability important for a boss?

Accountability ensures tasks are completed, goals are met, and a culture of responsibility is cultivated.

How can I address personnel challenges as a boss?

Address personnel challenges by identifying the right person for the right seat and making necessary adjustments to fit roles and responsibilities.

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