As hard as it is for some to believe, there are Good Bosses out there. If you see a coworker leaning back in her cubicle with her eyes closed and a silly grin on her face, chances are she is taking a vacation of the imagination in which her thoughts have drifted back to a happier place and time when she worked for a Good Boss. Those who have worked for Good Bosses often wax nostalgic. Those who have never had that pleasure of working for a Good Boss can only imagine.
It’s surprisingly simple to be a Good Boss, which makes me wonder why more bosses don’t get it. I’ll wager you know at least one I-Boss who hasn’t done anything right since the Carter administration. Then
again, it took me a long time to get it. The ways in which we humans think and act are like the tires on your car. You never give them any thought until one goes flat. For Idiot Bosses to change, and they can, some incident or series of incidents of sufficient magnitude need to occur before they will know there is a problem. Once they are aware a problem exists—and they are it—they can begin making the transformation from Idiot Boss to Good Boss by adopting the surprisingly simple yet profound golden rule of leadership: Lead the way you like to be led.
Simply put, that’s what Good Bosses do. In most human interactions, the simpler something is, the more effective it is. We all want simple answers, the easy road, and the easy money. If we are convicted, we want to do easy time. Have you ever heard an ad on the radio that said, “…in just three hard payments?”
Good Bosses have the self-awareness to understand how they like to be treated and the common sense to figure out that other people probably like to be treated the same way. How we communicate with one another is a good place to start. Good Bosses provide a constant flow of clear and concise information and encourage you and the rest of your team to do the same. Good Bosses don’t like to play 20 questions in order to discern what you’re talking about; they don’t want to read your mind in order to learn what you’re withholding; and they don’t expect you to read their minds as to what they expect.
If you make your boss play a round of Jeopardy in order to learn what you’re doing, you have a problem with that person and viceversa.
Making someone guess at what you want or to gain important information you have in your little clutches is passive-aggressive behavior.
It’s resentment playing itself out. We tend to be passive-aggressive with people we want to punish. When was the last time you gave the silent treatment to someone you were happy with? The concept is easy to test. Just reverse the situation and consider how you feel when your boss withholds information from you.
Your imagination starts running wild. Doesn’t she trust me? Does she think I’m too stupid to let me in on the big secret? Is she afraid that I might do something I will get praised for? All kinds of thoughts might run through your mind—none of which produce warm and fuzzy thoughts about your boss. If your boss is likewise filled with doubt, how warm and fuzzy can you expect her to feel about you?
Uncertainty always leads to uneasiness. How often do people go to lunch together and speculate about what’s going on around the office? How often do you hear whispered conversations with hands cupped over the telephone mouthpiece? Have you ever found yourself sitting in a bathroom stall when your boss came in with another of her management level? You kept very still, hoping you might overhear
some tidbit of information that would affect your job, didn’t you? Are you aware of how often you strain to overhear what is being said in a conversation in the next cubicle or around the corner?
HOW TO WORK FOR AN IDIOT SURVIVE & THRIVE… WITHOUT KILLING YOUR Boss –
Cap II: Chapter 2: Will the Real Idiot Please Stand Up? (By John Hoover) Part 1