10 aUGUST 2019


It is often said that ‘one can neither choose their parents nor their boss’. How true a statement is this? When you spend 2/3rds of your waking hours at work – either virtually or at site with your colleagues and boss in particular, it is all the more important to evaluate how best you are utilizing this most important part of your day.

I remember John, a friend of mine, who would always tell me that his boss was understanding, didn’t micro-manage and knew his family very well. He added that being a hard worker, his boss would support him at all times and even cover his mistakes as well. As John’s well-wisher, on hearing this, I was extremely happy for him as this seemed the idealistic situation to be in. With a great boss like that, the whole picture seemed more complete and I must add that the whole world around John thought the same. They would always feel happy for John, probably envious at times.

After a few years, John’s boss left the organization and all of a sudden, the decent performer at work - John, who was having a wonderful time at work, felt that he was targeted, disliked and almost termed as a non-performer by his new boss!! What do you think may have changed?

- Was it that John did not like his new boss? (On the contrary he had no problem, whatsoever).

- Did John’s new boss not like him? That wasn’t the case either.

- So, what could have possibly gone wrong?

This is what I call the ‘crippling effect’ !!

The irony is when the boss turns a blind-eye to employees when they make a mistake, miss a deadline, or even when they send an incorrect report. During such times, if the manager of the said employee overlooks such mistakes, condones such errors, continues to support the employee without timely feedback or even filling in for them – then, there is a cause for concern!! All this cripples the employee with the false notion that he is doing well and needs no further improvement. But the hard reality may be that the employee has a long way to go!!

So, if you think that your boss is the best boss – think again!!

Of course, make no mistake about the boss as their intentions may not be malicious and they could be genuine but that show of kindness may not be the best for you and your career. It is similar to a grandparent encouraging their grandchild to indulge in many activities due to their act of kindness, which may not be the best according to the kid’s parents.

Irrespective of your boss’ behavior or leadership style, you may seek his complete attention, coupled with specific, accurate and timely feedback, even if it may not be pleasant feedback. Because remember, it is easy to weed away a shrub than cut down a full-grown tree.

And if you are a boss and reading this article, you may recall the famous one liner – ‘employees do not leave organisations – they leave their bosses’. Let not your team crumble as a result of the crippling effect.