Adult Content Warning

This community may contain adult content that is not suitable for minors. By closing this dialog box or continuing to navigate this site, you certify that you are 18 years of age and consent to view adult content.

Leader vs. Boss

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Crown Royal, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal
    Expand Collapse
    Just call me Topher

    Reputation:
    964
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    22,867
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    I'm applying for a higher, more responsible position at work and trying to remember all the things I disliked about supervisors from my past. The ones who micro-manage deserve to be poked in at least one eye, but the greatest:

    Nett calls them "Wizards" because they sit in their high castles and throw fireballs. Meaning they don't know what's going on or how hard people are working "down below in the trenches" yet bitch about anything they see that displeases them. Context is invisible to them.

    The leader > boss comparison is real. My last job my supervisor was a miserable, friendless, filthy-unwashed product of nepotism who despite working in a plant spent 95% of his time at his desk on his computer. Pressuring people with quotas, making cuts and guaranteeing poor numbers.

    My place now I have a great guy to work under, who's always helpful and patient and never carrying chips on his shoulder, everyone has zero complaints on the floor. Reminds me of this:

    image.png

    FOCUS:
    Stories of the best and/or worst bosses you've had. What gives them that coveted title?

    ALT-FOCUS:
    If you are a boss/leader of any sort, how do you think your fellow employees view you as a supervisor?
     
    Cmr88 likes this.
  2. Juice

    Juice
    Expand Collapse
    Moderately Gender Fluid

    Reputation:
    1,413
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    13,628
    Location:
    Boston
    My best boss was probably the one I have, at least until I leave in 2 weeks. Hes the regional director of the division and we talk every other week and grab lunch every 6 months, but thats about it. We go to the same local office, just neither of us are ever there and we both work from home a lot of the time. Hes almost too hands off. Hes not much of a leader, but hes not dictatorial either. He just directs traffic from a high level. And that's fine with me as its far better than the alternative. Hes a really nice guy and a lot of fun at conferences, he just doesnt want to deal with work when hes off the clock, and Im the same way. He deliberately requested that he not be made partner so he doesnt have to go to the office and can spend more time with his kids. Sometimes some feedback, any feedback, would be nice. But if thats my only complaint, then its a pretty good deal.

    I want to say that my worst boss was a guy named Bob and he was the store manager when I worked at Ocean State Job Lot in high school. Ocean State Job Lot is a department store in southern New England that makes K-Mart look like fucking Neiman Marcus. He was just an angry person, but I found out later his wife was dying of breast cancer at the time, so I give him a huge pass in retrospect.

    The shittiest one was my first boss out of college, who was my VP at Morgan Stanley. He was a huge dickhead. He would make us re-do entire presentations and work all night, just because he felt like being an asshole about it. Thats not conjecture, he told us that verbatim. His argument was, "you don't know how good you have it here, you can suck up the bullshit." He was angry because the promotions had passed him by. He had been gunning for an SVP and Managing Director position for 10 years, then a superstar girl a few years ahead of me went up the ladder lightening fast and he became very bitter. I hope your dead, Larry.

    The most pathetic boss was my boss Michelle at bank I worked at doing corporate finance. She was afraid of her own shadow, would call us into her office to cry about the stress in her job, and was paranoid everyone was mad at her. I felt bad for her, but she was weak and it was exhausting having to deal with her.

    Bump.
     
  3. whathasbeenseen

    whathasbeenseen
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    27
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2009
    Messages:
    604
    I've had a load of bad bosses. When Office 365 was just coming out on the market he asked me to compare it to our subpar product to it in an A/B comparison highlighting reasons why clients should stay with us. I made a comprehensive report where we had very few redeeming qualities in comparison. I then did an analysis of where we did shine and how it could be displayed to our existing clients and where we should focus our efforts at generating new business. Deaf ears after all of that work. Company is now failing.

    Contrast that to the owner of my company now. I live on a relatively small island and this guy visits me at least twice a year with his whole family and only makes me go to London for the Christmas party and annual Team Day. The last time he visited I had an idea that was complex and started to speak about it over lunch. He put up his hand and said 'Do you have enough time to accomplish this with all of your other tasks?' Yes. 'Do you require any more resources to accomplish it?' No. 'Do you believe in it?' Yep. 'Does our vision align more often than not?' Yep. 'Then don't ask my permission. If necessary ask forgiveness later but I hired you for your expertise. Use it. I'm sure it'll be fine.' Goddamned gem he is.
     
  4. audreymonroe

    audreymonroe
    Expand Collapse
    The most powerful cervix... in the world...

    Reputation:
    546
    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2009
    Messages:
    2,859
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    The worst boss I had was my immediate boss at PP. To put it as succinctly as possible,because of some shuffling, the woman who was managing a customer-service focused team wound up as the manager of the sex ed program team, and while she was very well suited for customer service, she was not at all qualified for our program. She didn't know any of the info or policies. She had very few responsibilities and was so goddamn lazy that she routinely fucked those up or ignored them completely. She didn't care about the program and had no interest in improving it at all because that would likely involve her doing more than two or three hours of work a week on a full time salary with benefits. But the worst thing was, since she was a high school dropout surrounded by people with masters and doctorates, she felt very threatened by everyone else being good at their job and wanting to make things better and would actively work against them, either in big sweeping ways or petty high school ways. As people started leaving, she kept replacing everyone with either her friends or fucking dummies who could barely write (let alone who didn't necessarily believe that abortion is a valid choice) so that she could have more people on her side or a team to more easily push around. She ran the place like a high school cafeteria rather than a business, and didn't give a shit that the quality of the program has been in decline at a faster and faster rate every since she took it over. Unfortunately, she didn't get a boss higher than her that gave much of a shit either until about two years ago, and I think it was too late at that point. I have a friend who still works there and it's still all the same old shit.

    My best bosses are the ones I have now. We get along personally the most and I respect them the most, which goes a long way. But they're very hands off and just trust me to do my thing and check in once in a while for updates or to give big picture direction or brainstorm ideas together. I do not do well with micro managing at all, so it's just a better fit.
     
  5. JWags

    JWags
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    153
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,210
    Location:
    Chicago
    Jeez, bad bosses, where to begin.

    Worked at a diamond wholesaler for awhile, it was a bridge job while I was out of work and they were a customer of my father's. It was a company run by an Orthodox jew and 95% of the employees were either Orthodox as well, (thus needed a specific workplace that gave them all minor and major Jewish holidays off, as well as closed in time for Sabbath, aka sundown on Friday which meant office close around 1 on Winter Fridays) or Mexicans who they took complete advantage of. Well it was just total incompetence, fear of intelligent underlings or any disruption of the norm. I was let go for "inventory going missing". Now, its weird for the common person to image, but diamonds are just a commodity or product for these companies, so much like food spoiling or parts breaking or whatnot, sometimes they get lost, or a package is thrown away, its an inventory cost. Not massive carat plus diamonds, but smaller ones. The inventory is question was probably $2500 total, if that, that ABSOLUTELY was thrown away in a Fedex box accident cause shipping was a cluster. But the real reason I was fired, was I had recently went back to grad school, had proposed a few changes to the inventory system which would save time and money, had switched some employees to Excel instead of printing out MS DOS based lists of inventory, and, wait for it, had the GALL to ask for a $5K raise when I was making $30K at a company who made well over $4-5MM in profit a year and had under 15 employees, only 2 of which made more than $100K. Basically I rocked the boat, they got intimidated, and canned me. That tells you all you need to know about management.

    My second to last manager at Pepsi had never managed before. She was a director and had always been a lone wolf. She was good at her job but absolutely worthless at everything else. I applied for a new role within Pepsi, which needed Manager approval of paperwork, and she couldn't even figure out how to do that. She offered no support, she had no political sway, and couldn't even answer questions I had. She wasn't a bitch, just over her head.

    Contrast that to my first manager at Pepsi. He was fantastic. A dry British guy who was stingy with praise, but ALWAYS had my back, always looked out for me (even sending me outside jobs that he thought I might be suited for), and when I was praised, I knew it was truly worth it and that I had done a great job. Working for him for the first 6 months was VERY frustrating, but he absolutely made me better for it. He also taught me LOTS about politics and managing up.

    There is a big difference between managers and supervisors to me. Supervisors micromanage and are obsessed with stupid details that give them a sense of control. Managers direct workflow towards a common goal. My Dad made a great point to me when I was younger that I always try to remember. When it comes to your manager, your role is to make their life easier, they aren't supposed to make yours easier. AKA they are the coach of a team, and shouldn't have to do the QB or the WRs job for them. Sure they can coach them up, protect them from outside haters, put them in a position to succeed, but the end of the day, its on the players/employees to execute and make it all work.
     
  6. ODEN

    ODEN
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    152
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,357
    FOCUS: The best boss I ever had was Ernie. He was my boss in Iraq when I was still very young in this business. I look at him now as more like what I picture a big brother being than a boss. He was a highly intelligent, focused and most of all patient boss. He taught me how the life-cycle of managing a project has to go because all that I thought I understood about management was wrong I later found out after watching him in action and having him explain it to me. I really thought that I had to be stern, no nonsense and to be successful you had to be this lone entity separate from your team. After watching how he did it, I realized how wrong I was and also recognize that was the most successful project I have ever been on because the project was a success and there was true sense of team. He was very commanding to start: he set all of the expectations and micromanaged the processes for the first few months. Then suddenly, he stepped back. He literally just stayed in his office doing his normal functions with his door open during the day. He held meetings and walked the site everyday and remained engaged in the whole process. He was there for help and advice if you needed it but otherwise he left everyone alone unless he saw something that was going wrong; he become more of a coach.

    ALT FOCUS: I do my best to implement the management style I have learned throughout my time working for others; taking what has worked well and combining it with books I read where it makes sense. I work in a field where I will have a new team of people on each project, with a few regulars that stick with me as we go, until they are senior enough to run their own projects/programs. The area of management I find most rewarding is teaching/coaching of my younger people, they all react positively when I tell them I am proud of them for all that they have accomplished. The part I find least rewarding is the early days of new projects when I have set expectations with people because that doesn't always go smoothly; people don't enjoy being told directly they are fucking up and what they need to do for it to be better. I'm not into brow-beating or political correctness; I'm into fair, consistent and direct.

    If I were honest with myself, I don't think my people like me or dislike me, I think some of them like me and others are indifferent to me. This project is a joint venture, so some of them don't ultimately answer to me, those are the ones who are mostly indifferent to me. The people who are a part of my company, I think view me favorably, at least that is what they tell me in our quarterly meetings where we discuss personal progress. All I can do is try to do the best I can to make them successful; sometimes they will like it, sometimes they won't
     
  7. Nettdata

    Nettdata
    Expand Collapse
    Mr. Toast

    Reputation:
    2,908
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Messages:
    26,086
    This is the key that so many miss.

    When you try to be their friend, you lose, and they lose.

    Don't be a dick, but do your job, and treat them with respect. It's a form of tough love... sometimes they won't like it, but it's what's required.