Seth Godin has a great post "Do You Need a Boss?" The crux of the post is about entrepreneurship, but the list of boss attributes has some value as well. Here's a sample:
"You don't realize how much you need a boss until you don't have one. Bosses don't always do the following, especially when they're not very good bosses, but here's what we know about good bosses:
Bosses organize your time for you.
Bosses decide what's urgent.
Bosses give you cover when you work on something stupid ("she told me to!")
Bosses pay you even when the client doesn't honor the invoice.
Bosses can be sued.Bosses create deadlines, and stick with them.
Bosses make sure you show up in the morning...."
Read the whole thing here.