It is not a responsible behavior of bosses, when they bat for their blue eyed boys/girls!

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Bosses in any organization are supposed to be role models for their employees! They need to be fair, flexible and equitable in their dealings with employees. A healthy relationship between supervisors and sub-ordinates promotes pride for employees, enjoyable work place, high efficiency and harmonious growth. But in real life of most organizations, all what are highly desirable mostly remain only a pipe dream or decay on paper.

When bosses taste power, they do develop whims and fancies, likes and dislikes, which actually drive polarization of their opinions. There is a set of employees, whom they tend to favor and the rest invites their frustration or fury. Out of employees they favor, there would always some who are “yes men” or they generally don’t dissent, support their boss rather blindly and chemistry of their behavior and body language fit well with that of boss. These are the employees, who emerge as blue eyed boys or girls of the boss.

There are bosses, who are clever and keep their likes for blue eyed ones clandestine. They are likely to be far more vociferous in telling people about their impartial approach; but very subtly show favors to blue eyed ones. In the current age, such bosses are in big majority compared to those who are crude and clamor openly for whom they side with. Ironically, ethics policy of most organizations pronounces non-discrimination. However, such discriminatory and dishonest behavior of bosses goes on and on with impunity!

Unfortunately, bosses having equitable and empathetic flair for all are in minority worldwide!

Why bosses are seldom free from biases!

Look at the practical side of life – nearly all of us have biases. Bosses would have all the more, since they are far more vulnerable for following reasons:

  1. Power of human mind is such that if it is not harnessed in a right way, it would harbor biases!
    Bosses rarely have time or urge to think of channelizing their mind power Harness, productively.
  2. If a boss is aggressive, he (no gender bias) is bound to relish power and command authority.
    Such a boss is bound to be egotist. Employees, who can boost his ego, are bound to become his pat. But those, who hurt his ego, are bound to come under come under trouble.
  3. If a boss is submissive, he would be tempted to collect those employees around him, who normally take his side. He would use them to save his skin!
  4. A boss is expected to create hierarchy in his organization. Statistically, I have observed that bosses tend to fill key positions in this hierarchy by giving only 40% weightage on average to merits and 60% to his own comfort level with employees concerned!
    Once selections are made for key positions, the boss go hammer and tong to defend his deputies. I have rarely seen bold bosses, who would openly admit mistakes in their selection and initiate a change!
  5. Many bosses like to treat some employees as their confidants, who could keep an eye on activities of other employees, especially the dissenting ones.
    Are you surprised at above revelation? It is bad but true in corporate world!
  6. Focus of nearly all is on performance figures and not people values. This cannot but help promote prejudices and lack of pragmatism!

Why being blue eyed is a bad idea

If you envy those, who become blue eyed for bosses, you need to start rethinking.

Here below are banes of being blue eyed:

  1. You would be under shadow of your boss and hence, run the risk of losing your own identity!
  2. You would have poor knowledge of where exactly you stand by merit, since true picture is exaggerated by biases of boss in your favor!
    Blue eyed ones often face serious difficulties, if they have to work for a new boss!!
  3. You would get opportunities and rewards on a platter, more than what you deserve or able to chew. This would not be a blessing, as probabilities are higher that you cannot cope up with same.
  4. You would be poor in conflict management and facing challenges, which are keys to success in corporate life.
  5. Your peers would feel alienated and may keep a distance from you!
  6. You can’t blossom, when you become a boss!!!

So, there is a dire need for every institution and organization to (a) mentor, coach or develop bosses to have unstinted flair for being fair and impartial to all and (b) encourage employees to stand on merit and shun favors from bosses!

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6 Comments
  • Rudra
    Apr 22,2014 at 11:16 pm

    …it is not, definitely not! But then very often it has been observed that if one employee performs best consistently, he/she involuntarily tends to be the blue eyed boy/girl (which is fair to some extent I guess?).

    I believe if you let your work do the talking, you’re anyway going to be that epic “blue-eyed” employee of a (good decent) Boss, no??

    But still, having said that, I completely agree that most organizations should pronounce non-discriminatory policy! Its must!!

    Not surprised at your 5th point (confidant one), have seen this happening at many places… not good! 🙁

    Wasn’t aware there are these many banes of being a ‘blue eyed’ employee :D… nice to know…

    Good one!
    Cheers!!

    • Apr 24,2014 at 10:37 pm

      Many thanks for your well thought views!

      In organizations, where there is explicit or implicit classification of blue eyed boys/girls does spell problems.

      Yes, most blue eyed ones go down the hill eventually!!

  • Pradeep Pottipati
    Apr 18,2014 at 8:47 pm

    Hello Sir,

    This is a great article. You have highlighted all the practical things happening in the present corporate world. You said what is going on and what will be the consequences. That’s true I agree.

    Here these situations create a comfort zones for these people, so though they are aware that it is not ethical or it may not lead good success in future, they still stick to this. One reason is because we, humans, want comfort (let’s say physiological) and second Darwin’s theory, i.e. you said “save his skin”.

    Even a good resource, who was never a blue eyed baby of his boss, when he becomes a boss will be pulled i. Because the temptations and stress created by the position will make them act so, because we want to get things done in the easiest possible way and will not be ready to accept the criticism or a conflict.

    As we all know when a team member who was never a blue eyed baby of his boss becomes a boss, he will definitely start getting pulled into the same situation. Because the temptations and stress created by the position will make them act so, because we want to get things done in the easiest possible way and will not be ready to accept the criticism or a conflict. Though he is capable of handling the criticism, because we can’t the same way facing troubles for ever.

    Now, lets say a resource who used to be a blue eyed baby of his boss, climbs the ladder (though some times quicker, with the help of the same boss), will definitely follow the same management skills. because he is not used to handle criticism and conflicts and have poor managerial skills.

    Third situation (this is the main problem) is a resource, who don’t want to be a blue eyed baby of his boss, though not criticizing his boss, have to face hard time working with his boss. And this will definitely have a heavy toll on his work ethics. So this will make this guy to become part of another group which may have similar mindset.

    Another point I want to bring here, Point #2 and #4 in the consequences above applies to bosses too. Because they are very much used to get their egos satisfied and always being accepted (from the blue eyed babies). But when they get a new team member (lets use the word resource here), who cannot just accept something unacceptable from the boss, or who tries to suggest (if not advice, as it may not sound appropriate) his boss (let’s not use “correct” his boss, though correct, but hierarchically not accepted word), the boss can’t find it easy to either work with him or to get good productive outcome from him.

    Not everybody will realize the merits and demerits. And those who realize will always be a minority in number. So when this minority grows linearly, the majority “Blue Eyed” grows exponentially.

    And to add to this is the “Diversity” of Indian culture. We all grown up studying, thinking, learning that India is a country of diverse cultures and diversity is our main strength. But this diversity in culture DOES have a heavy toll on the corporate ethics. Because the very first thing that promotes this “BLUE EYED” structure is our diversity. When we discuss about personality development and managerial skills, we talk a lot about bringing out benefits out of our weaknesses and troubles. But, we in this world of hurry, are bringing out weaknesses out of our strengths, such a way that the weaknesses are dominating not only our strengths, but also strengths of others.

    Sorry, I’m unable to give a good ending here. So though everyone knows what is correct and what not and what are the consequences going to be, still we follow our temptations and tries to be in the comfort zones.

    So can you please throw some light on what kind of policies or practices an organization should follow to overpower these exponentially growing *I’m not sure what is the right word here as we are talking about ourselves from an outer view*.

    Thank you.

    Regards,
    Pradeep.

    • Apr 18,2014 at 10:23 pm

      Many thanks for orchestrating your detailed thoughts so well! Examples, which you have cited, are usually encountered in corporate life. No doubt comfort zone, in which bosses are tempted to live, creates woes; but a lot of vices also comes from ambition, stress, fear and ego.

      As regards policies or practices, the last para of the post is my key recommendation! Both supervisors and sub-ordinates have to work against such tendencies to discriminate. Apart from this, I have shared several researched articles on this website about bringing a change is corporate culture. I hope you have had a look; otherwise, I can select few and send you links.

  • Murli Lohia
    Apr 18,2014 at 4:25 pm

    From: prashant shingare [mailto:shingare@hotmail.com]
    Sent: Friday, April 18, 2014 2:50 PM

    To: Murli Lohia

    Subject: RE: It is not responsible behavior of bosses, when they bat for their blue eyed boys/girls!

    Dear Sir,

    Here is yet another article which everyone can relate. I like your lucid writing style. Thanks for sharing.

    Prashant

    • Apr 18,2014 at 4:26 pm

      This is encouraging! Many thanks for your view and feedback!!

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