I’ve been thinking about work place dynamics a lot lately. Managers, employees, bosses, leadership, morale. For most of the past 30 years I was part of “the management team.” A couple of years ago I worked my way back down the corporate ladder so that I have several bosses (instead of one) and nobody calls me boss. The two most significant results of this devolution are I don’t get invited to lunch as often as I used to and life is much sweeter.
During the peak of my Management Years I read books and attended workshops and seminars and took it all very seriously. Most of it was bull shit. I stopped all that after reading my first Dilbert book. Scott Adams describes The Boss this way:
“His top priorities are the bottom line and looking good in front of his subordinates and superiors (not necessarily in that order). Of absolutely no concern to him is the professional or personal well-being of his employees. The Boss is technologically challenged but he stays current on all the latest business trends, even though he rarely understands them.”
Most managers don’t have any idea how they’re doing because they look to their boss for feedback instead of the people reporting to them. Looking back (and maybe a little ahead, too), I think the difference between good companies and great companies is that good companies have good leaders…and great companies have great leaders. Nothing wrong with being a good leader or working for a good company…but it’s a little harder if you’ve ever worked for a great leader at a great company. And don’t let anybody shit you…great leaders are born. They’re not made. And the men and women down in the trenches can tell the difference in an instant.