The Worst Boss Pronouncement

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We have all heard the boss say something that made us scratch our head. It’s a list that is as long as there are bosses. But there is one statement that tops the list in a complicated and not so good way when it is said:

“Your job is to make me look good.”

The responses are limitless but are best left unsaid. Here is the range of responses that should be considered, but probably not mentioned at the time:

  • Why should I work hard when you will take all the credit and look “good”? I think I won’t go the extra mile.
  • My job is to design products, serve customers, prepare financial reports or any of the other actions that will help the organization be successful. You are dreaming.
  • If you did your own job you wouldn’t have to rely on others to look good, loser.
  • I might help you look good so you can get out of this department faster and torture others.
  • When the 360-degree review come around I will remember that statement and be sure it shows up again in your review.
  • Your job is to mentor and develop me, why should I make you look good when you are not helping me.
  • If that’s my job, I am going to start looking for a different job.
  • Will you ever tell me if I am making you look too good so I know what to stop doing?
  • When I make you look good will you share your raise with me?
  • You are an ass and I will make sure I get the credit I deserve for any work I do. Even if I have to go to your boss.

Study after study after study shows that the number one factor in job satisfaction is one’s boss. If the boss is a jerk, no matter how much you enjoy the work, you are not going to be satisfied. Those who are most satisfied have managers who know them and have their best interests in mind. The best managers DON’T take credit as individuals; they work as a team and share the credit. The best managers listen to those who are performing the work about how to make it better. The best managers ensure everyone is off the plane safely before they get in the lifeboats on the Hudson River.

So when the boss proclaims, “Your job is to make me look good”, it could be a good indicator of the kind of manager you are dealing with. To me, it is borderline bullying. Whatever you do, don’t suck up. Rather, it could be a time to take stock about whether or not you want to stay in the same organization as the “make me look good” person. Life may be too short to stay.

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