Several times Google has topped Fortune magazine\u2019s list of the\u00a0100 Best Companies to Work For. Most people assume that Google tops the list because of their great benefits and all of the fun and perks that they pack into the Googleplex. But that\u2019s just part of the equation.\r\n\r\nGoogle knows that people don\u2019t leave companies; they leave bosses. But unlike most companies, who wait around hoping for the right bosses to come along, Google builds each Googler the boss of their dreams.\r\n\r\nTheir people analytics team starts by researching the qualities that make managers great\u00a0at Google. These managers aren\u2019t just high performers, they receive high marks for their leadership from the people that report to them. They\u2019re the managers everyone wants to work for.\r\n\r\nNext Google built a training program that teaches every manager how to embrace these qualities. Once managers complete the program, Google measures their behavior to ensure that they\u2019re making improvements and morphing into managers that Googlers want to work for.\r\n\r\nGoogle is building bosses that are so good, they\u2019re unforgettable. And why do they do it? In the words of Laszlo Bock, Google\u2019s SVP of People Operations, \u201cOur best managers have teams that perform better, are retained better, are happier \u2014 they do everything better.\u201d\r\n\r\nIndeed they do. Unforgettable bosses change us for the better. They see more in us than we see in ourselves, and they help us learn to see it too. They dream big and show us all the great things we can accomplish.\r\n\r\nWhen I ask audiences to describe the best and worst boss they have ever worked for, people inevitably ignore innate characteristics (intelligence, extraversion, attractiveness, and so on) and instead focus on qualities that are completely under the boss\u2019s control, such as passion, insight, and honesty.\r\n\r\nGoogle\u2019s program isn\u2019t the only way to become a boss people want to work for. Any of us can study the unique qualities of unforgettable bosses to learn valuable skills and inspire people.\r\nGreat bosses are passionate, first and foremost\r\nFew things are more demotivating than a boss who is bored with his or her life and job. If the boss doesn\u2019t care, why should anybody else? Unforgettable bosses are passionate about what they do. They believe in what they\u2019re trying to accomplish, and they have fun doing it. This makes everyone else want to join the ride.\r\nThey sacrifice themselves for their people\r\nSome bosses will throw their people under the bus without a second thought; great bosses pull their people from the bus\u2019s path before they\u2019re in danger. They coach, and they move obstacles out of the way, even if their people put those obstacles there in the first place. Sometimes, they clean up messes their people never even knew they made. And, if they can\u2019t stop the bus, they\u2019ll jump out in front of it and take the hit themselves.\r\nGreat bosses play chess not checkers\r\nThink about the difference. In checkers, all the pieces are basically the same. That\u2019s a poor model for leadership because nobody wants to feel like a faceless cog in the proverbial wheel. In chess, on the other hand, each piece has a unique role, unique abilities, and unique limitations.\r\n\r\nUnforgettable bosses are like great chess masters. They recognize what\u2019s unique about each member of their team. They know their strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes, and they use these insights to draw the very best from each individual.\r\nThey are who they are, all the time\r\nThey don\u2019t lie to cover up their mistakes, and they don\u2019t make false promises. Their people don\u2019t have to exert energy trying to figure out their motives or predicting what they\u2019re going to do next. Equally as important, they don\u2019t hide things they have the freedom to disclose. Instead of hoarding information and being secretive to boost their own power, they share information and knowledge generously.\r\nA great boss is a port in a storm\r\nThey don\u2019t get rattled, even when everything is going haywire. Under immense pressure, they act like Eugene Kranz, flight director for the Apollo 13 mission. In the moments after the explosion, when death looked certain and panic seemed like the only option, Kranz kept his cool, saying, \u201cOkay, now, let\u2019s everybody keep cool. Let\u2019s solve the problem, but let\u2019s not make it any worse by guessing.\u201d\r\n\r\nIn those initial moments, he had no idea how they were going to get the astronauts home, but, as he later explained, \u201cyou do not pass uncertainty down to your team members.\u201d\r\n\r\nPeople who\u2019ve worked for an unforgettable boss often look back later and marvel at their coolness under pressure. That\u2019s why, 45 years after Apollo 13, people are still talking about Eugene Kranz and his leadership during that crisis.\r\nUnforgettable bosses are human, and they aren\u2019t afraid to show it\r\nThey\u2019re personable and easy to relate to. They\u2019re warm. They realize that people have emotions, and they aren\u2019t afraid to express their own. They relate to their people as a person first and a boss second. On the other hand, they know how to keep their emotions in check when the situation calls for it.\r\nTheir work is truly a team effort\r\nTheir people feel accomplished when group goals are met. Since these bosses don\u2019t believe they are above anyone or anything, they openly address their mistakes so that everyone can learn from them. Their modesty sets a tone of humility and strength that everyone else follows.\r\nBringing It All Together\r\nFor many unforgettable bosses at Google and elsewhere, things clicked once they stopped thinking about what their people could do for them and started thinking about what they could do to help their people succeed.\r\n\r\nInspire. Teach. Protect. Remove obstacles. Be human. If you cultivate these characteristics, you\u2019ll become the unforgettable boss that your people will remember for the rest of their careers.\r\n\r\nPlease share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.\r\n\r\n\r\nAbout The Author\r\nDr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book,\u00a0Emotional Intelligence 2.0,\u00a0and the cofounder of\u00a0TalentSmart, the world\u2019s leading provider of\u00a0emotional intelligence tests\u00a0and\u00a0training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by,\u00a0Newsweek, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and\u00a0The Harvard Business Review.