The Greatest Bosses Have This Peculiar Dichotomy

The greatest bosses seem to have a peculiar dichotomy that allows them and the teams they lead to thrive: They are at once both a rock and a chameleon.

They are the Rock of their team. They are reliable, trustworthy, consistent, and unerringly confident in their vision. They stand firm in the confidence of knowing who they are, and they provide the foundation for their team to succeed and build upon.

They are Chameleons for their team: they are masterful at genuinely adapting to their environment. Great bosses recognize that they set the tone and culture — which will hit different people, who all have different struggles, in different ways. The Chameleon nature allows them to meet people where they are, without compromising what is expected for the standard and the culture they have set. It’s connecting on a personal level with every member of their team; it’s getting on their level. It’s blending into the background so that your team shines, not you.

Chameleon. And a Rock. A chameleon, knowing when to be visible and when to fade into the background so your team shines — and a rock in a storm, having the ability during difficult times to take the brunt of the responsibility, standing strong against the elements and providing safety and confidence so that your people can experience how it’s done. Then, when it’s their turn, they too can be a great boss — Translation: A great Leader.