Saturday, June 29, 2013


"Boss" is an uncomfortable word for me, even though I have been the boss of somebody, sometimes many somebodies, for 46 years.

The word offends my notion of myself as a person who helps people discover the way to do things, rather than telling them how to do it. Give them the destination, but not the map. See how they make out. Help them learn. Nudge them a little from time to time when they get too far off track.

That doesn't work with everyone, but it usually does.

Not a buddy, though. That never works. You learn that pretty quickly.

I recall hiring a woman who had been at home for a couple of decades, raising her children. She said she liked the idea of having a boss again. So it's not always a negative term.

Some people have told me I'm a "good boss." Others have been less flattering. I've had some good bosses, too, and a few I didn't like.

But, at the end of the day, when all is said and done, when we're between a rock and a hard place, when the horse is out of the barn, when it's time to fish or cut bait, when the cows come home, when life gives us lemons, if somebody must be the boss, I'd rather it be me.


  1. I think that depending on your situation, the word 'boss' can be a negative or positive term. I've had mostly decent bosses, and one really fantastic one, which is great.

  2. Here's another saying: "better to be the hammer than the nail." I've been very fortunate in my career of having mainly pretty good bosses. It does make life easier.

  3. I would have worked for you, Doug! Anybody who accepts the flack when it comes and doesn't like to deflect in on the underlings is okay in my books!