In service, we always have a boss (or more than one i.e. immediate boss & then the higher ups), but we ourselves may also be(or hope to become) some person's boss. It is the earnest desire of every person to get a great boss(or at least a good boss), & also be a great or good boss, but it is mostly not fulfilled. In any company or organisation, a lot, yes a lot, depends on the boss. The whole organisation is guided by his objectives, behaviour, written & unwritten communications, dealings with various persons, focus on particular aspects etc. Boss can hire us, fire us, make our working life pleasing or troublesome. A boss can demoralize his team, or can motivate a demoralized team. He sets the standards (whether high or mediocre) in the company. He has principles, & he teaches them. He makes promises, & keeps them. With confidence he speaks few words of wisdom, which carry weight. He does not shy away from taking responsibility, & he does not sacrifice someone else, for saving himself. What does a great boss do? In fifty Chapters of this book, the author has discussed various aspects of this topic, with several examples, observations & advice. The book is based on inputs from more than seventy four persons (of various organizations, all from America), whom the author has listed as contributors, great bosses, mentors, teachers, coaches & parents. It may look like advice from a role model, a predecessor or our own earlier boss. In brief, the advice to the bosses or the prospective bosses is that, profit is all right in its place, but we also need motivation, good human relations, brotherhood & a place to work where all employees feel pleasure in working. Basically, a great boss organises selection of (or hires & also keeps)best people, positions right people in the jobs, tells the work requirements, delegates, trains them, gives a patient hearing to them, removes barriers to & monitors the progress & generously & openly appreciates & rewards for good performance. He makes the people feel special & great, & also makes them understand that, the company is getting money from the customer, & in fact customer is the real boss. He organises continuous training for upgrading skills of the employees. When required, he fires the employees with caution & dignity. Many times threat of firing itself works, since some opportunities have to be given to the employees to show improvements. In his scheme of things, the organisational interests should be at top level, but human aspects must not be far behind. The stage of selection of employees is crucial, where ability & attitude of the candidate, & views of various authorities in the company should be considered. The boss should also be able to find causes of poor performance of the employees, & advise them. He advocates humility & determination. He delegates down, but with clear guidelines & also training for completing the works. The boss should trust the people, make them think & take their own decisions & he should not do someone else's job. The boss should attentively listen to the views of the employees, suppliers & all others concerned. To sort out differences of points of view, talking & discussing across the table is necessary. At the same time, no employee should be openly humiliated. He teaches loyalty to the company. The boss takes calculated risks, & with his good luck, brings success to the company. He should be a hard task master, in so far as achievement of targets & goals is concerned. He does not advocate running away from the adverse situations. He considers employees as the biggest resource. With ABC analysis, he uses 80% of his time for those, who are delivering 80% of the results in the company. He makes regular teaching & training, a part of the system in the company. He arranges making of company policies, but keeps performance above all. He always los energetic, thinks big, & sets the minds of his team accordingly. The reader would like to complete this interesting book in one sitting. The abstract writer during his own service career, had many bosses during different periods, & he himself had also been a boss similarly, & had varying types of experience. In my view fairness, unbiasedness & human approach in dealings, clarity of thoughts, directions, guidelines & delegating, brotherhood, being a patient listener, demanding quality work & in time, while at the same time giving full support to employees in times of difficulty have been the basic expectations from a great boss. Whether myself, or my bosses have been great, good or otherwise, let us keep it, for a later date.
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