Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Boss is always right: Your workplace obligations

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Paul Glen has developed a rather simple philosophy of boss-subordinate relationships. Some excerpts


Wouldn't it be nice if every boss came with a standard API? It would be so easy to look at the interface specifications and know exactly what he expected, in what format he expected it, when you should deliver it, what predictable events would result from your input and how you should handle error conditions. All the politics would go away. Those pesky emotions would become a nonissue. Success would become deterministic.

Sadly, it will never be so simple. Every boss-subordinate connection is a custom job. This is both the promise and the pain of workplace relationships; they are cobbled together not of hardware or software, but of wetware (the gray, squishy stuff between our ears).

Part 1. A subordinate owes the boss and the organization three simple things:
Candor
Loyalty
Delivery

That's it. If I deliver on all three of those things, I can look myself in the mirror and feel that I've fulfilled my part of the employment bargain. Let's take a quick look at each one, because they are deceptively simple.

Part 2. Bosses owe their subordinates three simple things too:
Candor
Loyalty
Delivery


Paul Glen is the author of the award-winning book "Leading Geeks: How to Manage and Lead People Who Deliver Technology" (Jossey Bass Pfeiffer, 2003) and Principal of C2 Consulting.
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