Go hug the boss you love to hate.

Why? you ask.

Because chances are your boss never stood a chance.

Societally we are told that in general bosses are:

  • Greedy
  • Power Hungry
  • Stupid/Clueless
  • Egotistical
  • Insensitive

Just think about sitcoms and comics that have a wide audience and find tremendous humor in feeding/creating these stereotypes:

  • The Simpsons
  • The Office
  • Dilbert
  • SpongeBob
  • Parks & Recreation

In fact many work teams find a sense of camaraderie in their disdain for “the boss.” Making many a knowing glance or under-the-breath, after the meeting, “just between you and me” comment to co-workers.

Yet people who are in a place of authority have insecurities just like you and me. They make mistakes. They don’t have all the answers. And at times they question their own judgment.

And yet they’re expected to “set the example,” be fearless and confidently guide the team through challenging times.

They often are not mentored to show their humanity, demonstrate vulnerability or share insecurities. (They are not mentored to be “relatable.”) And when confronted by a team who is invested in the stereotype, how could they? Would you even be able to see it if they did or would the “bad boss” filter it first?

They are made out of the same flesh and blood you and I are.  Give your boss grace, and recognize their humanity. And know, that in most cases, they are simply trying to do the best they can do with the knowledge they have.

3 Bold Moves:

  • First try experiencing your boss outside of the stereotype
  • Second, ask him/her, “What’s the biggest success you’ve had as a leader and what’s the biggest mistake?”
  • Third, share a challenge you’re having at work and ask for his/her help

For more great ideas (whether you have a boss or you are a boss), check out Culture Works. Also available on Amazon.