Your job is to make your boss look good.

 In Clear Possibilities Blog

Bosses have an essential function in the organization. Bosses succeed when they perform that function with excellence. When you help your boss function excellently, and be seen to function excellently, you are helping the organization. And the organization signs your paycheck. 

Bosses, as leaders, also have a symbolic function. They must be seen as trustworthy and competent and caring, like any other leader. To the extent you can help your boss display those characteristics, you are helping the organization, and you are therefore doing your job. 

“No one is a hero to their valet,” as the saying goes. You are likely aware of the dark side of your boss’s personality, of his or her faults and weaknesses, and moments of confusion. This changes nothing. Your boss’s outtake reels are not what the organization should be looking at. 

Look at it from the other side. If you sabotage the people above you, you damage the organization. And you have a moral reason not to damage the organization – because you’re not working for free. You may decide you don’t want to be there anymore, but you must not hurt the place. 

When a decision is made that you have to implement, you need to agree or accept. And when you’re in line-of-sight, nobody should be able to tell the difference.

Let’s say your boss has a new idea on Monday morning. She explains it and you don’t understand. “Tell me more,” you say. You dialogue about it. And after you ask all your questions and raise all your doubts, the boss still believes this is the best decision. At that point you have to agree or accept. Noone should be able to tell the difference. Because sometimes people with crazy ideas are brilliant and their ideas work. The boss, after all, sees things at a different level. And it’s the boss’s decision. How we carry out those decisions has a huge effect on the organization.

This is all assuming the decision has nothing to do with moral issues, or breaking the law. This hypothetical is about day-to-day decisions.

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