Thursday, September 21, 2006

Good Boss, Bad Boss (Or: I know that pointy haired guy!)

Let's hear if for good bosses! My boss knows what I do and what I like to do. He lets me own my job and praises me when I take initiative. He encourages me to take on projects that advance our goals at work and that also advance my career and are in my areas of interest. He knows what's going on overall, is very smart, and never micro-manages my work. At our meetings, he keeps our group informed about the what is going in our wider organization and gives us the big picture about how we fit in. He talks to us like we are strategic partners and listens to our ideas and lets us run with the ones that we have made a good case for. He is a motivating. I feel like I can actually contribute and grow in this job.

There is another person who works here who is not my boss but is about at my boss's level. She was the boss of the person, who quit abruptly, who used to be in my position. I learned this slowly over time and it made sense of the previously puzzling decision to place me in the department I am in. She micro-manages the people under her to the hilt. In fact, they are required to cc her on every work email they send out. Interestingly though, she seems to have no idea about what is actually going on or about what her people do.

I'm mostly in a different area than her, thank goodness, but I've been given a talking to twice by her. Today I was prepared, but last time she literally didn't let me speak and I had to close the door after she left and cry (just a little) in frustration. It made me want to quit. Today I was given a talking to for handling a confusing situation well. She told me that in the future, I should ask her or someone else in authority what to do. This highlighted the contrast between her and my boss so well. If I took the whole story to him right now, he would be impressed at my initiative and problem solving skills and tell me to keep up the good work. She is just mad that she wasn't kept in the loop, I suppose.

I could make this whole post a bullet point list about good and bad bosses. In this case I think it comes down to:

Good boss
  • Wants to give his team power.
Bad boss
  • Wants to take power away.
pss: If anyone from my work ever sees this, I'm talking about a different job.
pss: I think I will make a list.

1 comment:

Yak said...

I used to be a "boss" and was into empowering people on my team. I've been in a class lately about writing user-oriented software & looking back at a previous project - I let people on my team do what they wanted too much - and at the expense of the project and the users best interested. So now I have a modified view - empowerment is good - but not total empowerment. Now I would say to some employees - what you want to do is an interesting idea but is it really in the best interest of this project.