Your Boss Is Not the Devil

I need to quit my job! My boss sucks! She makes life hell for everyone. She is too demanding. Everybody keeps complaining. I need a new job!

I have come to carefully observe, from my experience with a number of organizations I’ve worked in, that most employees have a uniform word that readily comes to mind when thinking or being asked about their employers: devil. Surprisingly, ‘devil’ in such instance would mean a ‘perfectionist’.

Typically, there are two sets of minds at the workplace. The first set live for the vision of the organisation.  They are constant builders and rebuilders of the vision. They do not take chances with it. They might make some mistakes on the journey to achieving it, but they do not make such mistakes a lifestyle. They learn from them, rework their steps and move further. The second set know the vision, but rather than live for it, they live for the gains they make from it. They are good instruments for building the vision, unfortunately, they are often not particularly excited about the building process so they take too many chances with it. Ultimately, they make too many mistakes and do not see a problem with that. Rather than learn from the mistakes and move further, they see mistakes as an unavoidable and probably ‘essential’ occurrence, thus, they make such mistakes a lifestyle.

I have learnt that the reason every boss will, for the most part, continue to seem like the devil is because they belong to the first set. They know what they want and they are willing to give their sweats for it. They know that some occasions are bound to end up in a ‘no’, yet, they refuse to take ‘no’ as an answer. Before they get a ‘good’ result, their minds are already painting a ‘better’ one. So they go on and on, they can’t think or act less than they did yesterday. However, most employees will continue to see such boss as the devil because they belong to the second set. They think they are doing and sacrificing enough for the organisation, but truth is, they are more or less just there for the paycheck. They feel ‘good’ is enough, they don’t understand why they need to beat themselves up over ‘better’. They feel quite at home with ‘no’ on some occasions.

Your boss is not the devil. Newsflash: your boss is not a super-devil because she is a woman. It is you who need to deal with your demons before you set out for work. How do you identify your demons? If you think there’s nothing wrong in making the same mistake twice or even more, there goes your demon. If you fail to see the need for you to get better and more productive at work, you’ve got twice the demon. If you fail to see the cogent reason behind your boss’s rants and join co-workers to gossip and call him or her the devil, your demon is a super power. If you fail to evaluate your performance at work at the end of each day, thereby giving no thought to where you flopped or could have done better, your demon is the pretty face you see in the mirror every morning.

If the only reason for which you go to work each day is to look office-smart, convince others that you are not idle after all and expect a pay-check at the end of the month, then you cannot miss having the ‘devil’ for a boss. Why? You were not employed to be all that.

Photo: Image Faculty

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