Focus on the Job not the Boss.

Bosses may come and bosses may go.  In most cases, the boss eventually moves on.  A new boss takes responsibility.  Bosses have good days, and bosses have bad days.  Some bosses make work a joy.  Other bosses make the people around them miserable.

The same principle applies to coworkers and clients.  Coworkers and clients come and go.  Some coworkers and clients inspire people.  Some coworkers and clients discourage people.

The boss is not the job.  The reason that I am working is not to get the boss’s approval, but to get the job done.  So when working with difficult people, I try to focus on the job I have in front of me and do that job to the best of my ability.

If the boss has specific guidelines for the way to do a certain job, I try to follow those guidelines and exceed the boss’s expectations.  If those guidelines are faulty and the boss will not allow feedback, I give the boss the best results I can within the boss’s guidelines.

Some bosses have strict guidelines.  I once had a supervisor who required that I only give him information that required his decision.  He required me to summarize the situation and make recommendations about what he should do.  Then he would question me on the recommendations.

I found that the best way to work with this boss was to prepare before meeting with him.

I was successful under this boss.  I also learned that his process of making decisions was very effective.

After time, this boss moved away.  My new boss had a very different approach.  He empowered the people around him.  When these people made good decisions, he commended them for the decisions they made.  When people made mistakes, he explained the correct decision to make in the future.  I enjoyed working for him a great deal.

Both of these bosses promoted me.  They promoted me, because I did a good job for them.

In working for both bosses, I learned to focus on the job not the boss.  My performance was in my hands.  I controlled my performance no matter how pleasant or unpleasant my boss might be.


Image/Mark Hunter/Flickr

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