Detective Superintendent Yagami in Death Note comes off as something of a father figure to the other task force members, or at least Matsuda.
Tsunade toward Naruto; among other things, letting him call her "Tsunade-no-baachan" (Grandma Tsunade) instead of the formal "Hokage-sama" and letting him officially go on missions to find Sasuke (who is officially a rogue ninja with a death penalty on his head) whenever Naruto asks for it.
All the Hokages seem to have been this, even the one who was a necromancer, since he willingly sacrificed himself to save his subordinates; this goes hand in hand with their "Will of Fire" ideology. A good portion (though not all) of the Kages from the other great ninja villages seem to have embodied this trope as well.
Greed from Fullmetal Alchemist who (while he denies it fervently) is rather pleasant to and pretty protective of his underlings, making him all the more sympathetic a character. He justifies it by saying that if word gets out that he is good to his subordinates, more people will want to work for him.
Likewise, Ling gets dangerous whenever his underlings are in danger. It should really be no surprise when these two join forces... sotospeak.
En from Dorohedoro is one scary guy, but otherwise quite nice to his subordinates.
And Balalaika, both to her own gang and her outsourced labor, the crew of the Lagoon.
Nanoha Takamachi of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S. She cares about her trainees. She works hard to make sure they don't overextend themselves while learning everything she can teach them. She never screams at them. She is, however, capable of blasting you into unconsciousness as a learning experience.
The most successful crews in One Piece are the ones with benevolent captains. (At least to their crews.) Monkey D. Luffy is the most obvious example of this, given that his True Companions are his very reason for living at this point, but at least one villain, Arlong, gets into this. The more recent crews exemplify this, and even the series' probable Big BadBlackbeard likes this one.
A bit of Truth in Television there. Pirate captains were supreme only while battle actually raged. They had no authority outside it, and if their crews disliked them, they were marooned. (Now there's a motive.)
Surprisingly, Doflamingo is this to members of his inner crew when he had easily dismissed and gotten rid of Disco and Bellamy once they outlived their usefulness to him. But after Vergo and Monet's defeats at the hands of the Straw Hats and Law, he solemnly thanked the former for their work and was seen to be saddened when Monet was about to blow up Punk Hazard. And later on, upon finding Baby 5 and Buffalo's heads (thanks to Law's ability), he didn't do a You Have Failed Me and even said they did the best they could.
Also Dino, to the point that he's at his strongest if his subordinates are around and he's also completely useless if they're not around. Fuuta's rankings also show that he's the #1 boss that cares about the well-being of both his subordinates and civilians.
Omega from Tekkaman Blade counts. Sure he might be trying to take over the Earth, but he actually seems to care about his troops to the point of listening to Evil explain the rivalry between him and his brother, as well as imprisoning Evil to keep him from undergoing a Deadly Upgrade. Note that Darkon, the English Dub version, is the exact opposite.
Kohta's boss in My Balls takes him out for drinks several times and one time even takes him to a brothel (the boss pays for all of it each time).
Perry's Alternate Company Equivalent, J. Jonah Jameson, is a subversion. He's a great (yet gruff) boss who protects his employees from various super-villain attacks (namely that guy who takes the great photos of Spider-Man), but hates Spidey's guts. Unfortunately, the two people are one and the same.
Depending on the Writer, most continuities make Jameson a Bad Boss, firing Peter Parker (and other employees) any time he loses his temper and only reinstating him when he must. The fact that he stands up to supervillains only makes him a brave Bad Boss.
He also anonymously pays for his employees' defense attorneys if any of them are ever charged with a crime.
Bruce Wayne as the head of Wayne Enterprises. In keeping with his Rich Idiot with No Day Job persona he's generally considered a bit ditzy and clumsy but generally well-meaning and likeable by his employees. He takes good care of the people who work for him, from executives like Lucius Fox all the way down to the mail boy whom he knows by name and offered a scholarship when he couldn't afford college. Probably has something do with the fact that he was ''raised'' by an employee of his family. He's considerably gruffer as Batman, though he still means well.
Mr. O'Clock, the owner of the dairy in Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman, seems amazingly willing to overlook the way Reid regularly destroys milktrucks, flakes off, and generally wreaks havoc. Though Reid can be a persuasive bastard when he puts his mind to it.
In the Jackie Chan Adventures fic Queen Of All Oni, Jade fits this trope (at least compared to the previous bosses the Dark Hand has ended up with, like Shendu and Daolon Wong). Not only does she pay them regularly (and apparently quite a lot), she doesn't punish them NEARLY as harshly as she could for their mistakes. The Enforcers feel that she's a MUCH better boss than Shendu, and they even help her overthrow Ikazuki, since HE treated them like slaves.
Ami in Dungeon Keeper Ami, who is kind and gentle to all her minions. Of course being a Dungeon Keeper and basically a designated agent of darkness, she has tremendous trouble getting people to actually believe that.
The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Address Unknown has Post Haste, Derpy's boss at the Ponyville Post Office. After she's put on probation by the Cloudsdale office and then almost immediately fired - over an accident that was actually Twilight's fault - Post wastes no time in offering her a job, expressing his disgust at her previous boss's actions (the aforementioned firing, along with the pleasure he took in filling Post in on her "miserable failings") and makes it clear that he has a considerably greater tolerance for mistakes.
El Guapo from ˇThree Amigos! is a villainous example of this trope, shown receiving a sweater from this henchmen for his birthday and wearing it for the remainder of the film. He even treats his birthday celebration like a party for everyone.
Joe in Empire Records. He's basically a father figure to all his young employees, and a legal foster father to one of them.
Gru in Despicable Me. He may experiment on his minions occasionally, but he treats them well and cares for them, even kissing all of them goodnight.And he knows all their names! In return, the minions all love and adore him.
In the Richie Rich movie, Richie's dad is a firm believer in not firing employees, claiming that job security makes better and happier workers. The one exception he eventually makes is the Big Bad.
George Newman in UHF instantly becomes one the moment he steps in as manager of channel U62. Despite his brief depressed moment when the station seems to be going nowhere, he snaps right back to his cheerful Crazy Awesome self the moment StanleySpadowski becomes a hit with his show. His willingness to put anyone on the air doing anything brings a contagious energy that quickly spreads to the entire station and makes them the highest rated channel in town.
Independence Day: Marty (Harvey Fierstein) - Jeff Goldblum's Camp Gay boss at the satellite TV company. His immediate reaction on hearing of the potential danger of the UF Os is to tell everyone to stop work and get to safety in the basement NOW. This is a media company that is covering the event: shutting off transmission long before others even guess of any danger would cost them $millions.
G. W McLintock, the titular hero in the John Wayne Western comedy McLintock!, is very much this trope. After he hires Devlin, he recognizes how the young man had to swallow his pride to beg for a job, and assures him, "I don't give jobs, I hire men," and if Devlin will put in a fair day's work, "For that I'll pay you a fair day's wages. You don't give me anything, I don't give you anything, we both hold our heads up." Seeing that Devlin's family are in dire financial straits, he then gives his friend Drago some money to give to Devlin, saying, "Tell him I pay my men a month in advance." Throughout the movie, he treats his employees fairly and is friendly to them, especially Devlin whom he learns to respect as a fine young man and hard worker; when Devlin and McLintock's daughter Becky announce their engagement toward the end of the movie, he's overjoyed.
In The Thrawn Trilogy, Grand Admiral Thrawn was far too remote from his troops to really qualify as a father figure. His image was of an alien genius, strange but far too skilled to be brushed aside. But he wasn't unnecessarily cruel to the people on his side, he rewarded quick thinking, his Commander Contrarian pretty much adored him, and Thrawn was respected and trusted. Thrawn used a small measure of fear, certainly: the Grand Admiral realized that fear of failure was a powerful motivating force in a military the size of the Empire. But Thrawn's ability to invoke a sense of pride in his troops was his most powerful asset. Palpatine inspired arrogance and callousness in his officers; Thrawn made his men proud to be Imperial soldiers. Thrawn's officers would have willingly died for the Grand Admiral.
Repeatedly, some of his crewers are incapacitated by Joruus C'baoth. Thrawn always has more bridge staff take them to sickbay. Sure, it's the pragmatic thing to do; they're not dead, just useless for a while. But you never have Daala or Krennel or any other Imperial who doesn't switch sides saying this. If they give any orders about a fallen crewer, it's "Clean this up".
This goes into Moment of Awesome territory when he promotes a subordinate who failed to capture Luke Skywalker, but both admitted his failure and showed innovative thinking. Thrawn's XO Pellaeon notes immediately afterward that the crew of the Chimera had respected Thrawn before, but now they'd die for him.
A classic example is Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol the good-natured employer of Ebenezer Scrooge in his youth. This memory becomes the first step in Scrooge's path to become a better man.
He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. Say that his power lies in words and looks; in things so slight and insignificant that it is impossible to add and count 'em up: what then? The happiness he gives, is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.
Scrooge himself becomes this to Bob Cratchit in the end.
The captain in the Phule's Company novels. He not only throws large quantities of money into shaping up the Omega Mob, but devotes much time and thought to figuring out their needs and meeting them, even to the point of ignoring his own.
From the Harry Potter series is Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, firm believer in second chances. He will defend his staff members to anyone, even the Ministry of Magic if need be, and don't you dare try to eject anybody from the school building while he's in charge.
Also, when Dobby (A Non-Human Sidekick of sorts) comes to work at Hogwarts and asks for both holidays and paid work (something that has never happened before), he agrees straight away and offers more then a considerable fair wage.
He actually offers him so much, Dobby demands lower pay and fewer days off!
Commander Vimes is repeatedly proven to be a much better boss than his attitude suggests. Although he doesn't like anyone much, his men are willing to put up with his roughness because they know that when the chips are down, he's got their back; in fact, after most of them leave during Fred Colon's time as Acting Captain, the only way Carrot can convince them to come back is by telling them he and Commander Vimes are back.
One of the reasons many of the Guard left during Fred Colon's tenure was because he made racist comments while members of said races where standing feet away from him. When it's pointed out to them that Vimes makes similar comments all the time, they say that they don't mind when Vimes does it, for the reason mentioned above.
As far as Sam Vimes is concerned, the race of any Watchman is Watchman.
''The men of his camps never had known him to be in a hurry or to lose his temper. Discipline was inflexible, but the Boss was always kind.
Dirk Struan from ''Tai-Pan'' is a self-made man who started out as a cabin boy under a tyrannical captain. When he becomes a ship owner, he pays wages on the day, in silver, and equips his ships with the best of everything. Sailors fight for the chance to work aboard one of his ships.
Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggart of Atlas Shrugged treat their employees with the utmost respect and consideration. Dagny is quick to thank and promote employees like Owen Kellogg who distinguish themselves well with their ability and effort, and Rearden pays higher wages than any union would ever demand... in exchange for the most talented, competent, capable work force money can buy.
Live Action TV
Just about every serial crime drama and occupational drama on English-speaking television, such as Law & Order, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, ER, etc. Even the designated-asshole superior officer turns out to have a heart of gold by series end.
Capt. Donald Cragen of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is portrayed as a somewhat stern but understanding father figure who gives the detectives a great deal of leniency because he trusts their ability to get results.
Conrad Ecklie in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation grew into the role over time. When he first got promoted to Assistant Director in season 5, he had a very rocky relationship with Grissom and his crew (especially Grissom), which eventually led to Ecklie splitting the team up. It begins to change in the season 5 finale, when Nick gets kidnapped and buried underground, as he becomes vital to the investigation and eventual rescue. Since then his relationship with the crew has become more cordial and he's given them far more leeway than he used to.
Rear Admiral A.J. Chegwidden and his successor Major General Gordon Cresswell in JAG.
Also their boss, Secretary of the Navy Edward Sheffield.
In a somewhat uncommon villainous example, the three Gaiark Pollution Ministers from Engine Sentai Go-Onger are this, most evident in Yogostein. They often praise their Monsters of the Week for doing well, even if they still didn't beat the good guys.
Jack Donaghy, from 30 Rock cares about main character Liz Lemon and obsesses over staying a hero figure to NBC page Kenneth Parcell.
David Brent and Michael Scott from the British and U.S. versions (respectively) of The Officethink they're being benevolent, but are so bad at it they wind up being the Stupid Boss instead. Michael comes closest, even having moments where he actually is helpful. (Supporting Pam after her failed art gallery show, for instance.)
David on the other hand gets extremely angry and defensive when his "advice" is rejected or disputed.
Col. Henry Blake and, even moreso, Colonel Potter on MASH.
Adelle DeWitt from Dollhouse is an odd example — her general persona is of an Ice Queen, a tough, non-nonsense businesswoman, and in her particular line of work she is even willing to kill if necessary... but she also cares about her employees, and they know it. (Which is what makes her giving Topher's schematics to Handling in Season Two a rather shocking Moral Event Horizon.)
Sam Merlotte from True Blood is a good boss, a great friend, and a kickass shapeshifter.
Paul Lewiston of Boston Legal may be the frustrated Only Sane Man in a firm made up of gun-toting, sex-addicted, filibustering, cross-dressing, midget-fetishising Bunny Ears Lawyers, but he still manages to put up with them all. And from season 2 onwards, after reconciling with his daughter and meeting his granddaughter, he becomes much more relaxed and pleasant.
Alan Shore, one of the aforementioned sex-addicted, filibustering, cross-dressing, midget-fetishising Bunny Ears Lawyers, is good to work for too. Every assistant or secretary he's had went away better for having been hired.
Arthur Carlson in WKRP in Cincinnati isn't an effective boss, but he's well-meaning and treats his employees with respect. Even Herb.
Mayor Richard Wilkins from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a swell guy to work for. He's always got a kind word, he asks after your family, he encourages good dental hygiene and good nutrition, and he discourages swearing and encourages teamwork and esprit de corps. He'll even pay for a new wardrobe and an apartment if you happen to be a homeless psychotic slayer in need of an outlet for your violent tendencies! Oh, and he wants to transform into a giant snake demon and eat everyone in the city. But what boss is perfect, right?
Cam Saroyan on Bones, pretty much. She's professional at work, but is still pretty enganged with the lab team at the same time. Goodman wasn't *too* bad, but he was more stern than Cam.
Art Mullen on Justified is good boss and friend. And considering all that Raylan's put the Lexington office through, should probably considered for sainthood.
Deconstructed by Max in the 2 Broke Girls episode "And the New Boss." She's not comfortable hiring an intern to work for them for free, nor with firing said intern when she starts taking advantage of Max, despite Caroline's repeated entreaties to do so. Only when she finds that Ruth (the intern) referred to her as "the dumb one" in a text does she finally do it.
Batman Arkham City: While not necessarily a very good boss, Two-Face seems to be the only villain who cares about his underlings, giving inspiring speeches and trying to raise morale among his minions.
In the Disgaea series, both Laharl and Mao's fathers were very good to work under. Valvatorez is, too; just ask his Prinnies.
The old dean of Evil Academy was so good, in fact, that the evil reputation was used as a defense mechanism to keep idiot heroes out. The one hero it should have kept out, however, was far more worthy of this forged reputation.
Champloo: Hyahyahya! That whole tale of a vicious Overlord was an urban legend we passed around to protect the Netherworld from stupid heroes. A bright red lie, redder than the ripest tomato! He simply wanted a peaceful Netherworld, a place where demons could live a carefree life. He was indeed the strongest Overlord...but at the same time, he was also the greatest Demon King!
Would you believe Geese Howard is like this? His Dragon, Billy Kane, is treated like a friend more than an employee, and he even treats his minions to drinks on occasion.
In Jak and Daxter, Osmo is to Daxter what Samos is to Jak, in a way: he compliments and praises Daxter for his excellent work.
The Illusive Man of Mass Effect is an Affably Evil boss who is genuinely supportive and helpful towards his subordinates in every way possible and is never anything less than completely supportive and trusting of Shepard's actions and decisions (until a certain one comes up, however). Hell, he calls Shepard just before Shepard launches what is by all accounts going to be a suicide mission to offer moral support and show concern for Shepard's safety. Just don't betray him. Bad idea. However by the third game he has Jumped Off The Slippery Slope and any compunctions he may have had are now gone in place of mass-indoctrination and "Contract Terminations" of scientists after they're finished with their assignments.
Shepard him/herself can be played as a Benevolent Boss. S/he can look out for each newly recruited team member, and can make side trips that help each member with what are really personal issues. When people are kidnapped by the minions of the Big Bad, Shepard is able tomake a suicide run to try and save them.And if you're a good enough boss, you can save most of the kidnapees and your entire assault team. Of course, Shepard could also be played as a colossal dickosaurus.
Admiral Hackett from the first game also counts. He compliments Shepard upon successful completion of certain side missions, and in the second game, it's revealed he's the sole reason the Alliance isn't trying to arrest and interrogate you.
Bowser of Super Mario Bros. is this in the RPGs. He's generally beloved by his troops who follow him out of admiration rather than fear, has a True Companions-like bond with them and in Super Mario RPG is actually incredibly forgiving of them (letting two of his minions live in the Monster Town where they're incredibly happy). That is of course, barring his quick temper.
Yuri from Infinite Space. Bastian even notes this is the reason why he is a better captain than his rival, since Yuri forms a bond with his crews rather than simply treating them as the power to run his ship. In terms of gameplay, choosing the "benevolent" options will usually give pretty nice stat bonuses.
Inspector Chelmey, the Inspector LestradeExpy from the Professor Layton series, reveals himself to be this in the third game. He admits to Layton that his right-hand officer, Constable Barton, makes a metric ton of mistakes and probably should have been fired — but Chelmey will not allow him to be, because Barton tries hard and means well and Chelmey trusts and is fond of him.
Byakuren Hijiri, Satori Komeiji, and Shikieiki Yamaxanadu are this trope in Touhou. Other masters? Not so much.
Metal Gear's Big Boss arguably qualifies for Outer Heaven and Zanzibar Land, as many of the soldiers seem to praise him.
Indeed. His army in Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker is consisted of defeated soldiers and volunteers, and he never gave them much trouble (The worst thing he did is fired them, usually if Mother Base is overcrowded), and in Metal Gear 2, he even helps and recruits his former enemies. You can't get a mercenary who is more benevolent than that.
In Final Fantasy VI, General Leo qualifies for this trope, though he is not a boss in the video game sense. When he is first seen by the party he shows his benevolent nature by refusing to let his soldiers charge recklessly at the enemy, determined to minimize casualties on both sides. He later shows modesty when he tells Terra he is no better than Kefka (the main villain in the game) because he allowed him to get away with his crimes. He is killed by Kefka during his short time being controlled by the player.
Yamato from Devil Survivor 2 is an interesting play of this trope. He is a Jerk Ass who calls his subordinates "trashes" and he treats his subordinates like tools. On the other hand, he is a fair boss. He treats those who can do their jobs well nicely and he doesn't chew or punish employees that fail to do their jobs, but simply reassigns them to less demanding tasks. He doesn't throw his subordinates' lives needlessly and he doesn't ask them to do anything he doesn't or can't do himself. No wonder why the J Ps respect him and are loyal to him.
Zepheniah Mann from Team Fortress 2 hated his family (he didn't give a damn when his wife died giving birth and he loathed his sons) but he seemed to be fond of his employees. In his will he gave his maid Elizabeth his personal estate and his tracker Barnabus Hale his business empire. He gave his sons a worthless piece of land to fight over.
In Dragon Age II, Hawke can be played this was. They can double the wages of the Ferelden workers in the Bone Pit, as well as protecting the workers from dangerous creatures that threaten the mine. Hawke lets Bodahn and Sandal stay at the Estate, despite insisting that Bodahn doesn't owe them for saving Sandal's life in the Deep Roads. They can also free Orana from slavery and offer her paid work as a maid. The Codex later mentions Hawke encouraged her musical talents and paid for her lessons out of their own pocket.
Lord Doom, an Evil Overlord active in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe. His henchmen and operatives are well-paid and enjoy excellent benefits (including total-coverage health insurance, college tuition assistance, low-interest housing loans, a retirement plan, and a generous life-insurance policy. They also know that if they are ever arrested, all they need do is keep their mouths shut and Doom will use his vast resources to get them the best legal help in the world. Of course, if they do talk to the cops, things go very different.
Franklin Delarose, (unpowered) chief of security at Super Hero School Whateley Academy.
See also Dr. Diabolik, a world-known supervillain... whose exploits are always intended, somehow, for the good of humanity. He treats his troops so well that none of them have ever cut a deal with the cops, and they're always broken out of jail, or represented brilliantly in court.
Elizabeth Carson, headmistress of Whateley Academy. Even if some of her teachers and staff are ex-supervillains.
Ayla Goodkind/Phase is already a Benevolent Boss, despite being a freshman (technically he's repeating stuff that he's already done). He was being bullied for being transgendered, so he hired a security firm to dig up info on the bully's family, bought the debt that they owed, then threatened to ruin them financially. When the bully relented and apologized, he set up a way for him to free his family of debt — just by acting as a source of information. When another student asked for a loan to save his family from bankruptcy, he offered to give him the money instead — in exchange for a very particular (but not particularly hard) service. The family was so thankful they gave him a share of the company. He then proceeded in finding more business for the company.
Given she only employs three of her own friends, perhaps not so surprising. Marten's bosses have a tendency towards this trope though (among others).
Punch An Pie plays with this trope in the parallel story arcs regarding Angela's boss George and Heather's boss Brian. George is a Jerkass that nobody in the store likes, while Brian is a cheerful and upbeat guy who is naturally likable. Both of them end up in compromising sexual situations with their employees. George decides to Take a Third Option and Pet the Dog, resolving his conflict to the benefit of all; Brian, on the other hand, turns bureaucratic (albeit with a helping of regret) when confronted with conflict.
Then there's Angela's beloved former boss Dawna, pretty much a paragon of motherliness and benevolence.
Mike Bookseller has Fab, who is smart, reasonable, and well-liked by his employees.
Subnormality makes the claim that this is the worst boss you can possibly have; despite all the varied and sundry overtly horrible bosses for whom you could be working, this one makes you feel good about your terrible soul-crushing job.
In Wapsi Square, Monica's boss, despite his slight ineptitude at times, genuinely cares about the museum employees, and even set Monica up with her boyfriend Kevin. In addition, Heather's boss once told her that she had spent too much time working, and that she needed to go out and have fun (yes it was a direct order).
Tina the demonic barrista is this to her assistant. Whether she's the owner of the coffee shop or an employee herself is still nebulous.
Zig Zag, founder of the porn studio "Double Z Studios" from the webcomic Sabrina Onlinedefinitely qualifies; her employees totally adore her (with the exception of Darke Katt, though she always was a bitch to start with), she treats her male porn stars like people rather then pieces of meat, and she insists that she be addressed as Zig Zag, not 'boss' or 'ma'am' to keep her connection with her workers as close as a family.
Smithers once attempted to become this after briefly being placed as Burns' temporary replacement after Burns was arrested for a theft of paintings, but after Homer, Lenny and Carl started mocking him behind his back about his allowing them to essentially goof off... well, you get the picture.
Homer himself played it quite straight when he became CEO and overthrew Mr. Burns, until he realized that he was missing out on his family and gave the position. (Burns has a seemingly heartfelt conversation with Homer about the time running the plant costs someone, only to hit him with a tranq dart and attempt to wall him up in a mausoleum. Being as frail as he is, he's barely finished a row of bricks by the time Homer wakes up. The bemused Homer puts a blanket on Burns's shoulders and walks off while Burns continues to add bricks.)
A better example is when Homer is put in charge of the Nuclear plant out source in India. Mostly we see his megalomaniac behavior after a few silly comments and a fortune cookie, but it turns out in the end that the worshipful behavior from the employees is due to him giving them all the benefits typical to American workers, but denied outsourced labor, such as unions, vacation time and severance pay, to Burns's dismay. Their chanting while cheering him on translates to union slogans
J. Gander Hooter from Darkwing Duck: Absent-minded, a bit on the eccentric side, but an effective and fair mission control to Darkwing and the agents of S.H.U.S.H., generous with praise and sternly serious about getting results on protecting the world from F.O.W.L.
Rebecca Cunningham from Tale Spin usually leans towards this, generally treating her employees more as friends and has yet to fire one despite their numerous acts of stupidity. That said, due to having slight Control Freak tendencies and a bit of an erratic personality, she can have shades of a Mean Boss or Pointy-Haired Boss at times (especially in early episodes).
Iroh from Avatar The Last Airbender is a good candidate for this trope. He withdrew his troops from a two year long seige of Ba Sing Se when he realized that it was pretty much hopeless (granted, it took the death of his only son to see this....), and he acts more or less like the voice of reason to the troops under Zuko's command during his exile. It is probably safe to say that Iroh is the only reason that the crew did not mutiny the entire time they were under Zuko's command.
In DuckTales, Scrooge McDuck is tough and stern, but extremely fair to his employees.
The thing most people don't get about Scrooge is that he doesn't believe in luxuries, for himself, or anyone else, period. So while he won't spend a cent on break rooms or heating for his employees, he will pay them very well.
For example, when asked for a loan from a real bad boss, Scrooge demanded 50% for himself (his usual commission fee), and 45% for the man's employees.
Breakdown of Transformers Prime is a villainous example. He's an antagonist, but he tells his subordinates to keep up the good work and that he understands the job the Vehicons were doing can be thankless. Considering Decepticon M.O. is usually that the best you can hope for is barked orders and that your superiors only threaten you for incompetence, that's a step up.