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5 things you might not know about your Boss

What do you know about your boss?

Love them or hate them, most of us have them; a boss.  A boss has the ability to influence your work world in a way that other work colleagues don’t. There are many things that we may not know about our boss.  It may surprise you that you may have more in common with your boss than what you know.  Or, the reason that you have been hired, is because you have strengths in areas that your boss doesn’t.  Here are five things you may not have thought about when it comes to bosses:

What you might not know about your boss


  • Your boss won’t necessarily have more technical knowledge or experience than you. I was once in a job where I managed a commercial kitchen that produced 500 meals 3 times a day.  While I am not a brilliant cook, I do have a couple of specialities that can get me through in a pinch.  I can cater for about six people without having to employ the use of a BBQ.  This, it turns out, does not make me anywhere near equipped to manage a commercial kitchen.  The Kitchen Manager at the time could not rely on me to give him technical assistance with his job. However, I could support him in the financial and HR planning.  We had to play to each other’s strengths to manage the area for success.


  • Your boss is not always paid the big bucks. Have you heard the phrase “that’s why she’s paid the big bucks”? Now, it depends on many variables, but in most cases Managers get about 20% more remuneration than their next level down. Have a look at the Hays Salary survey here if you don’t believe me. Have a look at the public service pay scales if you want more examples.  Sometimes (not in every case) the Manager is spending more time at work, or traveling out-of-hours.  Most Managers I know are on the phone for work well after they have left the workplace. That means in some cases, on an hourly basis, there is not a huge difference between the boss and their staff.


  •  It is in your boss’ best interest that you are successful. At one stage or another we have all wondered if our boss likes us.  In some cases, it might be true that they cannot stand the sight of you.  At the end of the day, it makes little sense that they would want to sabotage your efforts to be successful at work.  Your success equals their success.  When you hit your targets they are well on the way to hitting theirs.  So, the next time you wonder if the boss is out to get you, ask yourself what’s in it for them?  You not performing well does them no favours, and will generally create more work for them.


  • Your boss doesn’t always know what to do. We put an interesting spin on our expectations of our bosses.  I refer back to the first point, they may not have the same technical ability as you do, and they may not have your experience.  If you go into any exchange with your boss expecting that they will have all the answers like the oracle at Delphi, then, I am afraid, you are going to be very disappointed.  It’s fair to expect that your boss will find an answer for you, but they probably won’t know everything about everything.


  • There are just as many bad bosses as there are bad of any type of worker. Sometimes you will simply strike a crappy boss. Maybe they are not good at their job, maybe they are bad at managing people, and maybe you simply don’t like the cut of their jib.  The fact of the matter is, in all workplaces, you get good and bad at all levels of the organisation.  However, if you go into the relationship with your boss believing they are an ass, chances are you will also find things to reinforce your belief.  Or maybe they are simply an ass.  Either way, don’t let a single experience taint you, as I have said here, you can learn many valuable lessons from a bad boss that will help you in your future.

Can you think about it all differently?

For most of us who aren’t working for ourselves, having a boss is a fact of life. Our working relationship with our boss can be a determining factor in our happiness at work. It is easy to play into the traditional narrative regarding bosses.  It is easy to blame them when things aren’t working for you.  However, you boss is just another employee at the end of the day.  They have faults, strengths and different experiences to you.  Why not have a think if you can see them differently?  It may make a difference to you.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

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