I think you would have found the Do You Want to Be the Boss? session helpful. Alex Cruden had a list of 10 things that are good characteristics for copy editors but might not be for bosses. Which of these are excellent boss attributes? As with so many things, it depends.
1. Asking good questions
2. Listening well
3. Always being precise
4. Insisting on accuracy
5. Articulating what's wrong
6. Adding what's missing
7. Summarizing in a very few words
8. Acting quickly and decisively
9. Working as a member of a team of equals
10. Always having 10 items on a top 10 list
One good point that was made: It's important to have a support system. In this case, it was in reference to having people to emulate and off of whom to bounce ideas. And they don't have to work at a newspaper.