It’s tough to be a boss.  Today is a good time to thank those who have taken on the challenge.
So – Happy Boss Day – to all Chapelboro bosses.

It’s  also a good day for bosses to remind themselves of the duty they  have  to work at becoming better bosses. A good way to do this is to observe other bosses  in action. Not just on Boss Day – this is year round work.  Here are a few good Chapelboro bosses that I’ve observed and written about in recent years.

By the way, I highly doubt that these bosses are (or were) good bosses every minute of every day. More likely it occurred (or occurs) in bits and bites. And it seems to be about…well…read these stories and see what you think. And then – will you add a story or two about bosses you’ve admired?

1.. Chancellor William Aycock – Chancellor at Carolina  from 1957-1964.  

Chancellor Aycock commanded great respect.
Find out how  in: Kudos to Chancellor Bill Aycock.

2.  Basnight Sons & Daughter – Owners of S.H. Basnight & Sons.

SH Basnight & Sons was founded 87 years ago by Stein Basnight and is now run by two of his grandchildren, Jesse Basnight Jr and Terry Hamlet. 
Their secrets to success?
 Eight great ones are revealed in Basnight Family Secrets.  
Secrets 5-8 in particular are outstanding reminders for bosses everywhere.

3.  Bill Blackman & Jim Sloop – Founders of Blackman & Sloop, CPAs, P.A.

Bill Blackman and Jim Sloop were good at hiring, training  and coaching people; and making them feel good about the work they were doing.  Evidence of this?  Many current staff members have been there twenty, even thirty plus years.  Read more in Secrets of Success from Blackman & Sloop.

4.  .  Chris Derby – Owner of two UPS Stores.

A visit to mail packages at one of Chris’ stores made me curious. 
What were his secrets to success?
UPS Stores Do Good Business reveals secrets shared by Chris and his team.
And demonstrates one of the most important reminders for bosses everywhere.

5.  Coach Larry Fedora – Head Football Coach at Carolina.

Coach Fedora is high on energy, has high expectations and he makes them clear to players, coaches, fans – all stakeholders.  Find out how in Good Business Fedora Style.

6.  Mac Fitch – Owner of Fitch Lumber Company.

Fitch Lumber Company is 104 years old, the oldest business in town. 
Freddy Foust has worked there for 27 of those years. When asked why he has stayed at Fitch for 27 years, Freddy’s immediate answer was “Mac Fitch”.  
Hmm – sounds like a good boss to study. Read more in Fitch Family Secrets.

7.. Berkeley Grimball – Owner of Grimball Jewelers.

Like many bosses, Berkeley has learned to be one through the school of hard knocks.  Read  great messages from him on the importance of: communication, systems, crisis management, role definition, delegation, persistence and passion in The Shining of Grimball Jewelers.

8.  Joe Hakan– Architect for the Dean Smith Center.

Most bosses think they make their expectations clear. Most people reporting to them disagree.   This disconnect causes much discord. 
In Great Expectations at the Dean Dome,  learn how  Joe cut off potential discord by making expectations clear from the start.

9. Jim Heavner, Kay Norris & Bob Woodruff – The Village Companies (now known as VilCom).

From 18 years of working with these three, I can tell you that they are stellar bosses in many ways.  The aspect I wrote about most recently was their commitment to professional development.  You can read about it in Mess in the Middle.

10.  Al Jeter – Manager of UNC Surplus Store.

Al sets a positive, high energy  atmosphere.   Team members seem to know what is expected.  They jump in a help without Al saying a word.  You can read more about it in Furniture & More for Less.

11.  Matt Lawrence – Chapel Hill Fire Department.

Here’s another boss making his expectations clear AND keeping everyone posted on progress. 

12. Chancellor Carlyle Sitterson – Chancellor at Carolina from 1966-1972.

Being a good boss during peaceful times is hard enough. 
Even in tumultuous times, Chancellor Sitterson got kudos for being a good boss. 

13.   Roger Stancil –  Town Manager, Town of Chapel Hill

Bosses need to be in charge, take a stand and often make unpopular decisions.   Sometimes they get stuck in that mode and forget that they don’t have all the information and answers.    And sometimes employees are scared to offer information and solutions to the boss, so encouragement is needed.
Roger encouraged input with his  “If I were boss” program.  Read about it Good Business by the Town of Chapel Hill.

14. Ray Austin –  Former manager of Western Auto.

In just two words, Ray Austin sent a strong career lesson to 15 year old Mick Mixon.
It’s a message all bosses need to hear. Read and listen to Mick in Kudos to Ray Austin .


What do you appreciate about a current or former boss?

Write it in comments section below or send to
And what about you? 

  • Are you a boss? 
  • What makes you a really good boss?
  • What could make you better? 
  • Will you adopt a strategy or two from one of the above bosses do or did?
Note:  You can find additional ideas for leadership and team development in this eeek-book designed especially for October.