Friday, September 10, 2010

Bosses matter

Think about your three last bosses. Which of them are you genuinely grateful to for your professional and personal development? What was your experience of a WOW boss? When you go for a new job, either in your current company or a new one, do you go for a position or a boss?

Some advocate that bosses should not be a reason in the future job decision making as there are cases when you are interviewed by one person, but when you actually start the job a month later, that person is no longer there and you are all of a sudden report to a complete stranger. At the same time, there is a different camp of thought: bosses ultimately define the quality and success/failure of your job.

This article in McKinsey Quarterly talks about the importance of bosses in our everyday lives:
They matter because more than 95 percent of all people in the workforce have bosses, are bosses, or both. They matter because they set the tone for their followers and organizations. And they matter because many studies show that for more than 75 percent of employees, dealing with their immediate boss is the most stressful part of the job. Lousy bosses can kill you—literally. A 2009 Swedish study tracking 3,122 men for ten years found that those with bad bosses suffered 20 to 40 percent more heart attacks than those with good bosses.
I have been blessed in my life with bosses. Most of my professional growth and learning have come from them, and I religiously stay in contact with them, as they have grown into more friends/mentors/counselors rather than "just a boss". And I hear the stories from people who had disastrous experiences with their "corporate parents". Still, whenever we start playing Who-Had-The-Worst-Boss game, I always lose. Am I damn lucky or is it true that there are more good bosses than bad ones?

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