What your leader expects from you

abhineet mishra
2 min readJan 30, 2022


Summary of an HBR article

Photo by Salman Sidheek on Unsplash

Relationships between a boss and his or her direct reports are important ones and figure strongly in the success of a team.

Here are some tips (writer fondly calls as CEO compact), a set of expectations both from and for a leader

Expectation from a leader

  1. Get involved: Good executives know how to delegate. But more important, they know when a situation calls for their immediate involvement. e.g. when somebody is falling behind in her commitments; when important personnel matters arise, particularly if there is conflict; and in a crisis. Just because you’re an executive vice president doesn’t mean you don’t have to work anymore.
  2. Generate ideas
  3. Be willing to collaborate
  4. Be willing to lead initiatives
  5. Develop leaders as you develop: I want my direct reports to take as much interest in their subordinates’ development as they do in their own — if not more.
  6. Stay current
  7. Anticipate
  8. Drive your own growth: I expect people to seek perpetual education and development — not necessarily by going back to school but by exposing themselves to new people and ideas. Ask your boss for feedback, and if he or she isn’t willing to give it, then turn to peers and subordinates, or find a mentor. Accept demanding assignments; you learn much more from them than you do from cushy projects.
  9. Be player of all seasons

What my direct reports can expect from me

  1. Provide clarity of direction
  2. Set goals and objectives
  3. Give frequent, specific, immediate feedback: When I give feedback, I’m signaling to people that I’m interested in their growth and that I see a path for their future. Employees shouldn’t have to wait for an annual review to learn how they are doing, and if the feedback is going to help drive their growth, then it needs to be as specific as possible.
  4. Be decisive and timely: Decisiveness isn’t useful if it isn’t timely. People should expect me to make decisions as soon as I have the information I need, and not to be careless or impetuous but to give clear, unambiguous answers.
  5. Be accessible
  6. Demonstrate honesty and candor
  7. Offer an equitable compensation plan