Caring about the boss LO18632

Brock Vodden (
Wed, 15 Jul 1998 01:02:01 -0400

Replying to LO18600 --

I would like to raise a question about another aspect of caring. We have
been discussing the issues around supervisors dealing with their feelings
about those who report to them.

What about one's feelings for, or caring for, one's boss? Do feelings of
this kind affect the way you perform? Is it possible to overcome an
intense dislike for him or her, with no effect on the performance?

A brief personal case history to illustrate.

I was made Acting Manager of my department when my boss was transferred to
another Division. During the often lengthy process of recruiting a
replacement, I would report to an Executive Director as did the previous

Everything went fine for several months until one day I learned that the
Exec. Dir. had been taken to task by his colleagues for launching a
project which he had not discussed with them. He lied, telling the group
that I had launched the project without his knowledge, and added that he
would direct me to cancel it and repair the "damage".

(In fact, the Exec. Dir. had asked me to design and launch the project. He
had been ecstatic about the design, and expressed the view to me that
"this is just what this organization needs".)

It was generally expected throughout the organization that I would be a
candidate for the permanent manager position, and I am reasonably certain
that I would have been selected. The position would have been a great
career step for me at that time. I felt that it would have been difficult
to overcome my distrust of the boss and perform effectively.

I was invited to apply, but declined.

Should I have been able to override those feelings?

What would you have done?

Brock Vodden - Vodden Consulting
"Where Systems and People Meet"
Serving South Western Ontario


"Brock Vodden" <>

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