Even though my current boss VJ is a total star, I’ve had two whacko bosses in the past so I didn’t feel too left out in the conversation. Wicked I know !!
One particular sentiment that struck me hard was something my friend J said “ Gosh, if I saw my boss in an empty street, I’d wear my sunglasses and pretend to not have seen him and walk in another direction. He’s total PITA (Pain In the Ass) and totally not the kind I’d want to go meet across the street just because I saw him and thought he was nice” — The rest agreed unanimously. They each preferred to “un-see” their toxic bosses and scoot in another direction. Fair enough.
I nodded lightly too.
Personally I pondered, I would smile and exchange niceties if I bumped right into them but I wouldn’t want to hang out with them to catch up on the rare chance of being invited and might not actually cross the road for some. Yup. Sure of it.
Later as I walked home, I couldn’t shake off this thought from my head. What is it bosses do right or wrong. I think the very MBAish answer to it is “It depends” .
However, I think the answer to if you would want to meet your boss or not boiled down to Managers vs Leaders debate. That’s what I could think of.
Bosses who are more of managers are more likely to be mechanical and transactional in their behaviour with colleagues and subordinates. They might be great at their work and get every job done but they would find difficulty in being popular. Most at least.
On the other hand Leaders tend to be relational and more understanding with everybody around. They’re certainly more loved and respected. And they know how to make you want to work double and still have you motivated.
Also, as I transition professionally to senior management I think its important for me to not just want to be a leader but to act like one. To not just get shit done but to also be able to relate, empathise and inspire my team and live up to the trust of my colleagues and bosses.
The true validation to my efforts would be if on a busy street some day, an ex-colleague taps my shoulder and says “ Hey D, I saw you across the road and thought I’d come say hi ”
Closing today’s thoughts at this.