When your Boss becomes your Bête noire!

This is a wakeup call for bosses. You may be a boss or would become one in future and have a boss in your organization. So, what we are discussing here is applicable either way. As long as you are a buddy for your sub-ordinates, it is all hunky-dory. However, if you become bête noire (disliked person) for them by virtue of your behavior or actions, it would unleash problems and pains! You may defend what you have done is right or take offense; it would not work in your favor unless you assiduously revert back as buddy, though you run the risk of leaving scars in your relationship with sub-ordinates!!

What is the trigger?

Falsehood of Bosses

It is rampant. More bosses sulk and suffer from falsehood than right hood. Right hood is blessing; but falsehood is a blunder e.g.

  1. I am always right.
  2. My command does not need explanation, just compliance; being right or wrong does not matter.
  3. I hate to be challenged.
  4. I have natural right to be respected.
  5. If I bend for my employees, they would make me bend more.
  6. If I give freedom, I would lose control.
  7. I have to have last say and win an argument with my team.
  8. Only my thoughts and wishes are fair, even if these clash with those of others.
  9. Being captain, success belongs to me; blames for failures have to rest with team.
  10. It is not possible to please everyone, so at least please those (blue eyed boys or girls, regardless of merit), who please me!
  11. I should appear to agree; but actually disagree.
  12. I am proud to talk of empathy for employees; but empty in my endeavors.

Many would be very subtle and disagree that they do the above; but that is the enigma due to Falsehood! 

When employee fall prey to fallacies

  1. Expecting prize without performance.
  2. Boss is a God, who can address all of his/her issues and itches.
  3. Getting influenced by boss’ position and not persona!
  4. Coming too close to boss would raise his/her visibility.
  5. Being in footsteps of boss blindly would be a blessing.
  6. Wishing that boss can compromise his/her interests in favor of employees.
  7. “Work life balance” does not apply to a boss.

Above fallacies create false notions and set undue expectations in mind of employees for the bosses!

What frustrates employee or team member

  1. When boss divides and rules.
  2. When boss selects his/her shoe (job responsibilities), with no regard to size of his/her foot.
    It would pinch either way, if it too big or too short!
  3. If boss reprimands employee in public or in presence of peers or pulls leg in front of spouse in a party.
  4. Boss makes promises; but does not deliver.
  5. Boss deprecates when employee is lagging; but seldom appreciates where he/she is leading.
  6. When employee discovers boss does not deserve to be a role model!
  7. Boss displays split personality/behavior before employees.
  8. Boss is not a source of inspiration; but a cause of fear and frustration.

How to be “Boss and Buddy” at the same time

Often people think that’s very easy and end up doing a shabby job both as a boss and buddy! It is not about pleasing all your employees or team members, which is popularly known in French as “Laissez faire” style. It is about playing 2 contrasting roles cleverly and sincerely! It is not difficult, if you do the following decisively:

  • What migrate you from a Boss to a Bête noire are your Ego and Misconceptions. If you drop your ego, you would gradually kill your misconceptions and illusions too. Please refer last post on CYI site about Ego.
  • This would lead you to love all; respect all. Avoid temptation to love and/or respect selectively.
  • It is the Love, which would make you buddy; help you to put yourself in others’ shoes and understand their problems, pleasure and perspective.
  • It is the Respect, which would keep you apart as a boss, understand employees’ “needs, strengths and weaknesses”, hold their hands to take them on road to growth and glory, and in this process also your company!
  • Take a full about-turn on your falsehood mentioned above.
  • Resist what would frustrate your team, while guiding them not to fall prey to fallacies.
  • You would get a highly prized catch – above would actually upgrade you to be a Leader and not Bête noire!

A Leader is not only both Boss and Buddy; but much more…..


8 responses to “When your Boss becomes your Bête noire!”

  1. Anu Avatar

    All very true and something eerily overlooked in both management training and management books. Falsehood #6 is too true.

    1. Murli Avatar

      I am very thankful to you for your illustrious comments and valued views! It is true that lot of such grounds are not covered in management training and topics!!

  2. Rudra Avatar

    Having agreed to every alphabet in your post… first-of-all, “Boss is NOT always right” – people need to assimilate this bitter truth!! A boss who can’t learn from his subordinates will undeniably suffer from falsehood.

    All your 7 fallacies are bang on target!! 🙂

    I think the best way to tackle this matter is – do not change when you transpire from a sub-ordinate to a Boss. Let this change only be on papers and in your responsibilities. Rest all should remain same… and then you’ll be liked by everybody.

    I’ve been a sub-ordinate and a Boss as well (not necessarily in my company) and I know what it takes to maintain that good rapport!! 😉

    Your 6th point (a very sensitive one) under “Falsehood of Bosses” talks about Freedom. I somehow feel lots of India based offices have way lot of restrictions towards their employees if we compare it to offices worldwide. You may say it’s because of change in culture, thinking or mindset but I, at-times, do get a feeling that some India based divisions do think that if they will give freedom, they would lose control – my perception, you may think otherwise, but I hope your post reaches to all those Bosses around in India specifically, who may consider giving true freedom to their employees. 🙂

    Freedom is awfully imperative in ‘what-on-earth’ aspect of life and I think the way a person utilizes or maintains that freedom within his organization / team is what makes him a true BOSS!!

    1. Murli Avatar

      Thanks a lot for your comprehensive comments! You have put your analysis very well. I indeed appreciate!!

      Two thoughts to share – 1. A sub-ordinate becoming boss may not mean that he/she would acquire virtues and vices in new position immediately. In real life, sub-ordinate would have plus and minus qualities. When he/she becomes boss, usually minus ones would get accentuated more as compared to positive ones (unless person is really conscious to do better, love and respect others!). For example, if a sub-ordinate had over confidence, his/her new position is bound to make him/her arrogant and that’s how problems would be unleashed. 2. Not giving freedom to team has much to do with possessive or weak nature of a boss; much less to do with culture.

  3. Murli Lohia Avatar
    Murli Lohia

    From: Shaila.Pujari@emerson.com [mailto:Shaila.Pujari@emerson.com]
    Sent: Monday, December 10, 2012 10:04 AM
    To: murlilohia@gmail.com

    Subject: RE: When your Boss becomes your Bête noire!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sir. It really helps me.

    1. Murli Avatar

      I really appreciate your mail and feel happy that it’s helpful!

  4. Murli Lohia Avatar
    Murli Lohia

    Transferred from LinkedIn

    Jyotindra Zaveri has sent you a message.
    Date: 12/14/2012
    Subject: RE: When your Boss becomes your Bête noire!

    Thank you, nice Blog post, Murli. Let us keep touch.


    Jyoti, Pune, India.

    1. Murli Avatar

      Thanks a lot for your valuable feedback! I would be happy to remain in touch with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *