Love your boss
You know how popular media shows kids that they’re supposed to hate vegetables?
I think adults are similarly shown that we’re supposed to hate our boss.
It’s this dynamic you see in popular media, where the sympathetic employee’s worst enemy is their stupid, greedy boss.
By the time I got my first job in high school, scooping ice cream, my psyche had been implanted with this “Us vs. Boss” idea, and my control-freak manager confirmed the stereotype.
After that first job, every boss I had was fantastic. They were nothing but kind, attentive, generous, and respectful, so I had no reason not to like them.
But I still had this little unexamined belief that employees are supposed to hate their boss, and this messed with my perspective.
I had this cognitive dissonance where even when I was enjoying working at a company with great leadership, I still had this “f*ck a job, screw the man” attitude.
And then at some point in my late 20’s I found myself thinking back on all the different bosses I’d had so far, and realization hit me:
My bosses saved my life.
Ok, dramatic I know. But when I imagine an alternate version of my life without all my bosses and the things they did for me, it’s an unpleasant thought.
They gave me opportunities that directly led to my biggest successes in life.
They gave me resources to learn and grow in both my career and personal life.
They helped me develop a more accurate understanding of my own abilities. I tend to be hard on myself. Everyone can tell me I’m good at something, and I might not really believe it.
But then when someone is willing to bet on me and pay me money to do something, I believe that. That’s a signal that’s far more convincing than words.
And they’ve done it all with a spirit of generosity and kindness, all while managing far more responsibility than I’ve ever had.
I realize maybe I got lucky with the fact that nearly every boss I’ve had was fantastic. I’m sure many employees are justified in hating their boss.
But when I think about my own experience and the bosses who made my life better, it makes me sad to think of how they get villainized by popular media.
They don’t deserve that. They deserve to be celebrated.
So love your boss, don’t hate them.