The Boss Show

Workplace wisdom with heart and humor

July 5, 2012

Do You Have the Boss You Deserve?

By Jim Hessler

We often hear that “we get the politicians we deserve.” In other words, if we don’t care enough to vet our candidates carefully, or to fully understand their positions, we can’t complain too much about the bozos that end up running the bus.

On The Boss Show, we recently explored what might happen if your boss had to run for re-election. And is it possible that “we get the bosses we deserve” as well?

Employees drastically understate the degree to which their behavior alters, supports, or influences the behavior of their bosses. Here are some ways you might be “getting the boss you deserve.”

  • If you don’t proactively communicate with your boss, you might be limiting the opportunities the boss has to provide context and information that would help you do your job.
  • If you are overly critical of your boss, this might contribute to your boss feeling isolated, worn out, unappreciated, and demotivated.
  • If you’re disorganized, or you don’t check your work, you might be dragging your boss into details that prevent her from doing more strategic work that could improve your working conditions.
  • If you don’t hold yourself responsible for creating productive working relationships with your peers, you might be pulling your boss into no-win situations that will make him look tentative, indecisive, or just plain cranky.

I hope you will someday work for the perfect boss. (Ha!) In the meantime, if you’re not entirely happy with your boss, you might look inside. You might be getting the boss you deserve.

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About the Author

Jim Hessler bootstrapped his way from retail work into a successful career as salesman, sales manager, Fortune 500 executive, and corporate turnaround engineer. Along the way, he developed The Leadership Platform, a proven model for training managers to become sustainably better leaders. It became the basis of his leadership primer, Land On Your Feet, Not On Your Face: A Guild to Building Your Leadership Platform. Jim is the founder of Path Forward Leadership Development Services.

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