Being a good boss involves more than just being a nice guy/gal. Here are some tips.

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Congratulations. You’ve just landed, or created, your first supervisory position. You are now the boss.

Having been a worker bee, and possibly the survivor of a few “bosses from hell,” you may have some pretty specific ideas about just what kind of boss you want to be.

For sure you want people to like you, and to enjoy working for you. You want people to want to come to work. Your aim is to foster a happy, productive work environment where everyone does his or her part, more or less voluntarily.

These are great goals. But are you also thinking that the way to achieve this workplace nirvana is simply to be a “nice person?” A likeable, all-around great human being whom people love and want to please?

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Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to be nice. But the sad fact is that the qualities that make people great human beings are not necessarily the same qualities that make them great bosses. It is, in fact, harder to be a good boss than to be a good human being.

Why? Because good bosses are more than just decent, upright folks. Good bosses are those rare men and women who are not only predictable, sane and organized, but also have achieved the ability to handle power with grace and humility.

That ain’t just human. That’s superhuman.

But fret not! You can do it. Just take a look at the items on this list, study them and work every day to make them a reality:

Good bosses make their expectations clear.

Good bosses distribute the workload fairly.

Good bosses schedule the workload sanely.

Good bosses give people the tools they need to do their jobs and then let them do it.

Good bosses keep their promises.

Good bosses back their people up, protecting them from those who want to harm their interests.

Good bosses give people credit for their successes, and tell others about them, too.

Good bosses take the blame for employees’ mistakes, and help them avoid mistakes in the future.

Good bosses let employees know how they’re doing.

Good bosses help people achieve their career (and maybe even life) goals.

Good luck!

Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use. Email her at