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Dev Patnaik is founder and chief executive of Jump Associates, a growth strategy firm. He is also the co-author of "Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread[…]

Learning from his mistakes, the author of “Wired to Care” explores how managers can become leaders.

Question: Who was your worst boss? 

Dev Patnaik: If I ever had a really bad boss, the only person I can point to is myself. I have been a lousy boss for myself just because I find out that I am spending a lot of time focusing on the business and I’m probably not spending enough time giving myself guidance and making sure that I’m continuing to learn and grow, which is what I think every boss needs to do.

That’s really the definition of a great boss at the end of the day, right? It’s somebody who can spend time with you and figure out who you are and what’s going on with you and what you’re really great at, and helping to unlock that so you could become really amazing, right? And then figuring out what you’re lousy at and shielding you from all of that so you can be at your peak potential.

The bosses who figure that out become more than just bosses. They start to become leaders. They start to become folks that we look to for guidance and direction in our life.


Conducted on: June 24, 2009.