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You think it’s easy being a boss?

leader corporate business
Reading Time: 3 minutes

A promotion to boss changes relationships with everyone – especially co-workers.  No longer one of the gang, you’ve joined the other side.

There is a boundary line separating bosses from the rank-and-file. Newly minted managers are saddled with responsibilities no one prepared them for.

Unlike musical or athletic abilities, which often have a genetic root, leadership abilities are an acquired or learned skill.

Most managers learn on the job. Predictably, they often make mistakes. In the career-building process, it’s important to understand your managers, their jobs, and the skills needed to manage others.

While many large and midsize companies provide training seminars and lectures for new managers, most organizations provide little or meager training for bosses. And most training programs are half-hearted attempts to teach specific managerial skills, such as how to delegate authority, get feedback and work with difficult employees.

Some large companies aggressively promote the fact that they hire professional managers with MBAs.  They’re promoted as the new breed of managers.

However, the MBA ranks are small, and 99 per cent of the bosses will never enroll in an MBA program. What’s more, most bosses don’t have a bachelor’s degree.

Consider the following givens about bosses:

It’s easy to let power go to your head. Many bosses use it as a weapon to compensate for their inadequacies, frustrations and failures; others use it to cast a spell of fear and anxiety in the ranks. It happens in all companies, but especially in small ones. This is where you find the prototypical big fish in a little pond who couldn’t cut it in larger organizations with complex and strict reporting relationships. In small companies, however, these petty bureaucrats, many of whom have been victimized by tyrannical bosses, can be king of the mountain, wreaking fear, panic and emotional suffering on everyone in their charge. They take great pleasure knowing that they’re dreaded and that their employees’ jobs depend on pleasing them.

Here are more facts about bosses:

The moral of this workplace saga: Cut your boss some slack. He or she is not perfect. Like all of us, they’re just people trying to do their jobs.

Dana Wilson is a freelance writer.

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The views, opinions and positions expressed by columnists and contributors are the author’s alone. They do not inherently or expressly reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of our publication.

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