I’ve had quite different types of bosses over the 10 years of my working life. From the type who will try to backstab their own staff to the kind but incompetent type, i’ve learnt that having a good boss can make or break your career.

To me, a good boss is someone who’s capable and who rewards his/ her staff fairly. I believe the best way to move up the corporate ladder is to help your boss move up. A fair boss will recognise your efforts and pull you up along with him/ her. Having a capable boss is thus important because if you report to a fool, that person will never get promoted and your chances of getting promoted will be as good as nil. Along the same vein, the more capable your boss is, the faster he/ she will rise and the more opportunities you will have.

Some people may think that the best way to move up is to replace (i.e. overtake) your boss. I think this is despicable and naive. Despicable because it implies that you will purposely try to make your boss look bad – sounds unethical to me. Naive because bosses will more often than not have the upper hand. An incompetent boss will hinder all opportunities in which his/ her subordinate might shine. In addition, if management does not like the incompetent boss, chances are, the entire department will suffer together with the boss. A capable but cunning boss will get rid of you once he/ she senses dissent. Therefore, thinking that you can supercede your boss is really not a sensible thing at all.

How do you find your boss? Do you take into account the personality and chemistry you have with a potential boss during interview? What sort of boss do you think you’ll be?

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November 2011