Years ago, I had a boss who played a dual role for me. Fred was my boss and gave me all of the direction, support, challenge, opportunity and even correction required. But, he also served as a mentor in the sense that he would give me career advice that transcended my time working for him.
“Hey, I hear the overtime pay around here sucks!” he would say when I would come in way before him and leave way after him.
But, there was one piece of advice he gave that served me well during my corporate years and has served others well when practiced – MAKE YOUR BOSS’ JOB EASIER. One day while having a casual conversation, Fred offered this golden nugget to me as another one of those, “In your career, always remember to…..”.
Now, I’m well aware that there are some bosses out there who aren’t worthy of an easier road. I know, I’ve worked for 1-2 of them myself! Nevertheless, if you value your job (or at least your paycheck!) and possibilities for future career opportunities, his advice is sage advice to follow.
Since Fred was also the person who gave me my first opportunity to be a boss, I quickly began to understand what he meant. You see, if you’ve never managed people before, you really have no idea of the challenge it can be:
◾Your boss has to correct one employee, while praising the next, while encouraging another, while trying to figure out how to motivate another, while……. You get the point.
◾Your boss gets squeezed from the top, the bottom and the sides.
◾When executives make tough calls for the future of the business, guess who gets to deliver the news to the workers? Your boss.
◾Your boss is privy to more information than you and can’t always share what (s)he knows. So when (s)he makes decisions you don’t understand or agree with, guess who gets to deal with your bad attitude about it? Your boss.
◾I could go on.
When your boss has pressure squeezing them from every direction, the LAST thing (s)he wants or needs is an employee who makes their job even more difficult. The employee who offers to help you with something, anything is a gift from God! The employee who brings you a problem, but also offers up at least one possible solution is an angel in disguise. The employee who can see the positive even in tough times is like music to a boss’ ears. These are the employees who are considered for better opportunities, are the people a boss will fight to keep, and are welcomed back with open arms should they leave the organization and decide to return.
The employee who always has to give his/her opinion, the employee who does a lot of wrong, the employee who has an excuse for everything they’ve done wrong, and the employee who is usually at the center of controversy often finds him/herself unemployed or underemployed!
Remember, the squeaky wheel doesn’t always get the oil. It often gets replaced!