Saturday, August 11, 2012

“Do You Have to Massage the Ego of Your Boss?” - Professor M.S.Rao

"People ask the difference between a leader and a boss.... The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads and the boss drives."  - Theodore Roosevelt

The caption of this blog post probably puts you in a fix whether you have to massage the ego of your boss.  Before we arrive at a conclusion there are various aspects to know such as the difference between a boss and a leader, and four models from organizational behavior. 

There are four models in organizational behavior namely autocratic, custodial, supportive and collegial.  The autocratic model prevailed initially where employees were under the mercy of employers.  In this model, the employees worked as labor and obeyed whatever the bosses said.  Subsequently surfaced another model named custodial where the employees cannot be fired as they are provided with job security and other financial and non-financial benefits.  It is further followed by another model named supportive where employees are supported by employers and bosses above them.  It is fairly better than the previous models of autocratic and custodial. Currently we have collegial model where there is no much gap between the superiors and subordinates, and all are treated as equal.  The Generation Y appreciates this collegial model, and it is mostly followed by American management and top global companies in the world.  In this model, there will not be any bosses but only leaders. However, we still find bosses in the guise of leaders.

In fact, there is a difference between bosses and leaders as bosses are mostly arrogant and egoistic in nature and they often come with workaholic attitude. Russell H. Ewing differentiates as follows: “A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes. A boss knows all, a leader asks questions. A boss makes work drudgery, a leader makes it interesting.” The people who work with bosses find it tough to get along with them as the expectations of the bosses are high and they are mostly task oriented. In contrast, the leaders are blend of both task-orientation and people-orientation with a heart to make a difference in the lives of their employees. The leaders adopt transformational leadership style, and treat their subordinates like colleagues and get the tasks executed successfully.  The leaders support the subordinates in their training and development and quicken their career advancement.  They empathize and listen to their subordinates and lead their teams successfully.

If you happen to work under a boss you have to be more careful in your work. As long as you do your work sincerely you don’t have to worry about your boss, and you don’t have to massage his or her ego. All that you must do is to be assertive in your approach and communication. 

Best of luck with your boss!

“In the past a leader was a boss. Today's leaders must be partners with their people... they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.” - Ken Blanchard

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