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52 The PCB Design Magazine • November 2014 a car and drove in shifts all the way back to At- lanta without stopping. We had no idea what to think. But Steve predicted that military con- tracts were going to heat up, and that we were going to forge ahead with new products. He hung an American flag at the front door of our office and told us the best thing we could do was get to work. So we did, with pride in our hearts and renewed energy. 3. They wear their emotions on their sleeves. You don't want to be on Steve's bad side, but his acceptance of employees as more than minions certainly opens the door to that side of him. He is very open-minded, and allows us the freedom to speak our minds. Meetings tend to be places of much creative thinking and work- ing out tough problems as a team. There have been many times that I blurted something out that was especially inappropriate, mostly in my earlier days. One time I suggested that we call a new product "Dominatrix," having no clue what a dominatrix actually is—yes, I err on the naïve side, but I also like big words. I was laughing my head off in a room full of my completely silent, male colleagues. I honestly thought a domina- trix was just a bossy woman. It normally takes anywhere from a few days to a week to get back in Steve's good graces, and often avoidance is the only way to live down an offense. For not firing me the several times I had to stick my foot in my mouth, and for un- derstanding that we all make stupid mistakes, I offer my gratitude. My good days have out- numbered the bad, and I'd sure like to keep it that way. The good side of Steve is two-fold. First, he has a brilliant mind. We'll think we have all the answers, and then he makes one statement that changes the game entirely. I often feel like I'm playing checkers, but he's playing 3D chess. Sec- ond, he is a mushy old teddy bear. If anyone has a personal problem, he listens. If anyone has a new baby, it's all he can do not to visit in the hospital to cuddle the little one himself. Many of us look to him as a father figure. If anyone is misbehaving (like surfing Linke- dIn instead of working), he quietly roots out the issue by asking questions to make it obvious that you know he knows. It is that scary skill of catching you red-handed, but not getting mad, that leaves us all so focused and dedicated. And we don't want to let him down. For all the times I was answering a text instead of work- ing, thanks for understanding that sometimes we just need a five-minute break. 4. They protect others from the bus. As Haden says in his article, "Memorable bosses see the bus coming and pull their em- ployees out of the way, often without the em- ployee knowing until much, much later..." I've seen it happen over and over again. One of us flails our way into a terrible situation, and Steve tells us how to dig ourselves out or creates a strategy to undo the damage with no harm done. He seems to understand that we all do dumb things sometimes, and that working on the solution is so much more useful than flog- ging whoever got out of hand. He knows we feel like the biggest idiots without him saying a word. ThE QuALITIES OF GREAT BOSSES continues software bytes Figure 1. steve Klare is founder and president of intercept Technology.

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