Boss Gone Wrong

Boss Gone Wrong

Chris MacDonald discusses questions of duty and responsibility when your boss is out of control. It’s a good article and you should read it in its entirety.

My own view (and I don’t think it varies from MacDonald’s) is that business ethics demand that when the organization’s welfare is measured against a boss, the organization should always take priority. We have a responsibility not just to our leaders but we have broader responsibility to the organization, and of course, on a still larger scale, our nation and our civilization.

James Pilant

Chris MacDonald
Chris MacDonald

What’s Your Duty When Your Boss is Out of Control? | The Business Ethics Blog

But an employee’s level of responsibility for the boss varies with power and proximity. A senior advisor with a lot of influence has a responsibility to use it. When you’ve got the boss’s ear, you owe it to him or her to give good guidance, even what it’s advice he or she does not want to hear. But if the boss won’t listen, and if your position gives you the relevant authority, you should take action. Just what action to take will depend on what options are available to you, given your organization’s governance structure.

Most crucial of all is to remember that you owe your primary allegiance not to the boss, but to the organization. With very few exceptions, an employee’s duty is to the mission of the organization as a whole. In normal circumstances, it’s up to the boss to coordinate and motivate employees in pursuit of that mission. But when the boss strays far off mission, or wanders into utter ineffectualness, then there’s justification for deviating from the usual chain of command. Good leaders — ones who are aware of their own foibles and who are focused on the good of the organization — will make it clear to their employees in advance that that’s what they would want them to do, should the need ever arise.

via What’s Your Duty When Your Boss is Out of Control? | The Business Ethics Blog.

From around the web.

From the web site, Up North Business.

http://upnorthbusiness.wordpress.com/2012/10/31/book-review-good-boss-bad-boss/

Tommy Lasorda the baseball successful manager and executive for the Los Angeles Dodgers once said that managing people is like holding a dove in your hand. “If you hold it too tightly, you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it.”

All of us have a good idea of what makes a good or bad boss. When it comes down to it, everyone prefers to work under a good boss, but what exactly are the characteristics of a manager that makes this happen?

This pressing question is more than answered in Good Boss, Bad Boss, a recent book authored by Robert I. Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Sutton implements psychological research along with interviews and case studies to explain the difference between exemplary managers that employees love and are truly dedicated to and those who’s bad behavior labels them as “bossholes”.

The book fortunately first focuses primarily on the habits and qualities of good bosses. Sutton explains that good bosses are keenly self-aware and avoid what is termed the “toxic tandem” of being too self-centered to realize that their employees are watching closely what their supervisor does.

 

One thought on “Boss Gone Wrong

  1. I believe the statement: “But if the boss won’t listen, and if your position gives you the relevant authority, you should take action. Just what action to take will depend on what options are available to you, given your organization’s governance structure” misses the point that regardless of one’s ‘relevant authority,’ the key to taking meaningful action is to find a way to voice one’s values in what may be a non-supportive environment. It is one thing to say an employee should act when the employee wants to take action because of an unresponsive boss and when one’s authority provides the basis to act. It’s quite another to provide insight into just how to take that action, be successful, and help change the culture of an organization.

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