How I Learned to Be a Great Boss [EOS Workshop Review]


How I Learned to Be a Great Boss [EOS Workshop Review]

I just got back from an EOS® workshop, called “Be a Great Boss: How to Lead, Manage, and Hold People Accountable.” I got so much out of it that I couldn’t wait to write a review on it. Based on the book How to Be a Great Boss by Gino Wickman and Rene Boer, the workshop helped nearly 50 of us dig into practical ways to develop our leadership and management skills. The workshop is geared to mid-level managers, as well as everyone who manages anyone.

Here are a few of the many incredible insights I came away with.


There’s a difference between talking and communicating. Effective communication means I’m talking only 20% of the time and asking questions 80% of the time. Being a great boss is more about asking questions about my team and listening to them than telling them what to do.

I also came away with some valuable tips on having Quarterly Conversations™ with my direct reports. Specifically, I gained some helpful insight on having difficult conversations and on resolving quickly out of a help-first attitude.


Spending time on the Delegate and Elevate™ exercise will help me to be a better leader, because I’ll be focusing on the things where I can contribute the highest value. When I spend my time on other tasks, I’m holding my team back, because it doesn’t allowing them to do the things they truly love. I’ve decided that over time, I’ll have my entire team do the Delegate and Elevate exercise, and encourage them to have their teams do the exercise as well.


Holding people accountable isn’t mean or stern. It’s what a good boss does to create the best team possible, and to help each person to become their best.

When you keep people accountable, it might mean you have to have difficult conversations with them. But having difficult conversations with your direct reports should come from a place of genuine concern, and not as an attack. A boss’s job is to create a culture of open communication and trust within the department.


The reason for people issues isn’t always the employee. It could be a result of the boss’s behaviors. For example, developing a friendship with a direct report can interfere with a boss’s ability to manage the overall health of the organization.

This workshop reaffirmed for me that I need to deal with people issues earlier rather than later. A boss can’t wait for a complete team meltdown to bring up issues. It’s the boss’s responsibility to create open, honest communication with the team. That creates an opening for important conversations to happen early, long before an issue looms large.


Traction Tools had a moment to shine during the Be a Great Boss workshop as well. Many participants were excited to hear that the software can help them quickly and easily prepare for their 5-5-5™ conversations. Traction Tools pulls together all of the tools mentioned in the workshop, including:

  • Leadership & Management Questionnaires
  • Accountability Chart
  • Core Values
  • Rocks
  • People Analyzer™


As an Integrator, I walked away with a true appreciation for how EOS and Traction Tools can truly help teams. I am so grateful for the Traction Tools team and the privilege it is to work alongside them!

More Be a Great Boss workshops are coming in 2018! Join René Boer, EOS Implementer and co-author of How to Be a Great Boss, on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at the Sheraton Hotel in Elk Grove Village from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Register today!

Kathy Mayfield

About the Author

Kathy is the Integrator at Traction® Tools and, quite frankly, one of the main reasons our company took flight. After joining forces with Certified EOS Implementer™ Todd Smart as his executive assistant in 2013, she helped catapult Smart Partners, Inc. into a thriving entrepreneurial company. By that time, Kathy’s love affair with EOS® was a done deal. A few years later when the saucy little startup Traction Tools appeared on the EOS scene, Kathy switched gears and focused her attention on making Traction Tools an operational success. Her work at Traction Tools has been described by our Visionary as “akin to transforming an airplane into a rocket ship—mid-flight.” She harnessed and directed our energy toward rapid growth. She’s done the same as the director of learning and a member of the Leadership Team of the Female Integrator Mastermind (FIM).