BOSS 1 started with Boss-World, where everyone is Boss. It finished with start of career Boss that you never will forget Boss (for better or worse). BOSS 2 continued in the “or worse” mode and transitioned to “for better” mode. Almost 40 years of working and that pretty much sums it up. A roller coaster of Boss experiences. Can “or worse” actually become even worse? Read on ….

6. Corrupt Boss

I would have preferred to have a working life free of this particular slimy sub-species. Alas, not to be. This one had elements of Sadististic Boss and Arrogant Boss.

This one was into much self grooming through to hair products and good wide lapel shirt with minimum two shirt buttons undone, bit of throat and wrist Bling topped off the ‘fashion’ statement. If you didn’t compliment it for the particularly wide lapel or the hair jell configuration, for some reason the seat offered became further away from his desk, relegated to standing room at the back, maybe even the hallway.

If opportunity presents, check under their desk blotter. Will usually find the latest issue of Speed Boat Monthly or Jacuzzi tub of the Month magazines open and stashed under.

If an Invitation is declined to an after hours ‘Party’ by certain contractors or consultants to a Corporate Box at the Football, there is an exceptional chance that ‘cold storage’ looms to the extent of being shunned and excluded from even the normal and minuted weekly office meeting.

If it gained a sniff that whistle blowing of it’s nefarious activities might be about to happen, the rumour mill would get rolling of sexual harassment and bullying by the alleged whistle-blower.

Sycophant staff caught in it’s corrupted web fed the mill. This persecution based on deliberate falsehoods would be relentless. Whatever it took to protect their long term corrupted interests. Who gets damaged along the way? They didn’t care.

Karma did eventually catch up with him and the sycophants. Is still a cold comfort though.

Boss Rating: ZERO Call them out when you experience them. They must be exterminated or at the least periodically culled.

7. Dysfunctional Boss

Yes, the Office door is closed many times. Usually it conceals them hiding behind their inadequacy to manage anything in an accountable manner. They are seriously unable to accept assistance of established staff expertise or that staff might be correct. There is an element of Denial in their existence. They must control every aspect of decision making, with staff meetings a farce as they become his talkfest. Nothing is ever their fault, is always the fault of subordinates.

A Contract that didn’t make sense to the Project Manager. When major items were checked and confirm measured off plan, then compared to the items priced in the Bill of Quantities, huge discrepancies were discovered.

Thinking Cap put on and finally realised that when Boss did the original measuring for the schedule of rates, he didn’t check the Plan scale and measured off the wrong one. A serious stuff-up. Our big ticket material items were quadruple the quantity of the pricing in the Bill and accepted by the Client.

Door knock, go in and explain the issue found. His head went down, drawn out windy grunt issued out. He knew he had stuffed up in a big way and if we proceed we would lose big money.

Was suggested that we withdraw from the Contract or at least enter into negotiations with Client. Reasonable business suggestion as the alternative would be major losses. Get pushed out the door with “don’t bother me, I know what I am doing. If this Job doesn’t make a Profit then you are out the door”, being aggressively stated. Maybe he should be called Delusional Boss! This was just the tip of the severely indebted dysfunction.

I did build the job. First and only time I was sacked happened about a month later. Suppose he was good at his word. I wasn’t unhappy. The Business folded not long after with significant creditors and many one – two person contractors who never saw a cent.

Boss Rating 4:10 It may seem a touch generous, but this Boss was a wonderful source of what not to do if in charge. Lessons I have kept forever.

BOSS …. BOSS (reprised)

Good, Bad and Ugly Bosses have partly shaped the career and reinforced the type of Boss that I became. Not one moment is regretted, even though there was pain coupled with joy along the way. I learnt so many key characteristics of people that helps in conversations and difficult moments. Am generally not intimidated by the nasty ones (little bit scared sometimes). They helped mold my Manager credentials, just as Standard and Stealth Boss did.

During childhood observing Dad at work in a senior position managing and hands on with many skilled workers. They all seemed to do their job and with smiles. I grew up in a happy workplace. Home was pretty happy too. It all counts heading into potential Boss adult years.

Me? “Standard Boss” type fits best. I used to aspire to “Stealth Boss” type, but tend to wear my heart on the sleeve too much for that subtle, cool and collected Boss manner. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Plenty of books, podcasts and other modern stuff are out to quench the Boss theory thirst. Theory is good! Just need to back it up with practical. One lesson learnt is that most humans are far more unique than what their Job description states that can confound established stereotypes.

Best Boss? Myself of course!

Be open, straightforward but not overbearing. Try to keep the Office door open and demonstrate real compassion. Appreciate that you don’t know everything, that staff have expertise to be encouraged, tapped into and learnt. Be a mentor not a tormentor to the newbies. Be fair, honest and always try to do your best. My Boss description might be cliched, but is true.

What sort of Boss are you? Come on, be real on self assessment. Take the 3rd Party observation stance. Plenty to gain and maybe a bit to lose as well.

What sort of Boss can you become is the most important question.

Meanwhile, back to the Job site from the hardware run, yelling out to the boys in the rear yard, “I’m back, come and grab the stuff”. “Hey Boss, coming.” Head up the front stairs, on the landing, veer to left to go through kitchen door towards the rear yard and almost collide with the Wife who is loaded up with some freshly dried clothes. “Whooa, sorry Boss!” is blurted out to the clothes carrier. “Just remember that”, comes back with a cheeky smile. “Remember what? Remember who is the Boss around here!”.

She saunters past, chuckles mostly to her Boss self and onwards to clothes deposit zone. Just when I was romanticizing about the Socialist nature of Boss-World in Malaysia, and She who must be obeyed reminds that in reality Dictators are the real deal Boss, not this Socialist happy clapper Boss society that I am immersed in. From now a safe distance, I shout, “The fight isn’t over yet Comrade!“, and make sure I keep moving away with purpose.


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