A quick follow-up to this: Be the Best Boss.
Seek out people who seem to be thriving in their work, for you are looking for success stories and how they happened. Ask them the same question I asked you in Be the Best Boss, “Think about the best boss you have ever had: Can you tell me what made them so good?”
This is what a manager I coached reported back after he initiated several of those interviews for himself:
“My best conversations were with people outside of my company, because the internal ones could get too gossipy, or people wondered if I had another motive. My key learning from those good conversations, were that their best bosses elevated work for them in some way. They could give their attentions to that stuff that sits on my own “Someday/Maybe” list forever because I don’t feel I have time to tackle them. Great bosses seem to get their lists done because their basic competencies keep day-today work humming.”
Postscript: This coaching exercise is also good complement to our November 13th affirmation: “We learn best from other people.”