My 8 Bosses

Most people have painful boss stories to tell and I don’t want it to happen to me someday. For the many years that I have been working, I am fortunate to have met good bosses who shaped me into the professional that I am today. Of course, there were also times when our work relationship was not smooth, but being a logical person helped me to get through with all the challenges and criticisms thrown at me. So, without naming names, I’d like to share my experiences with my previous bosses who had different styles and personalities with each other.

Boss #1 is every employee’s dream boss. He was supportive of his department’s career growth and encouraged each one of us to do better each year. He was our cheerleader during project presentations, he made sure that we were comfortable in facing the other bosses. He was fond of teambuilding and out-of-office activities like dining out, badminton, and for the boys’ night out. Boss #1 taught me that being a good leader does not only mean that you’re good at doing your job, you have to have a good relationship with your subordinates as well.

Boss #2 is artistic and imaginative, traits that are not innate in me. I used to view the world in black and white, there’s no in-between and other colors. To put it down literally, she critiqued my first work samples and remarked that I should use more colors to differentiate one process or step from another. She could be feisty and emotional at times and it contradicted my normally cool demeanor. I think that one of the reasons why we hit off later and became friends was our opposite attitude; hot and cold, colorful and black and white. She taught me the value of hard work and patience that I still do now.

Boss #3 proves that even a person as accomplished as him can blend with employees of all ranks and positions. He was a caring boss and the type who would get worried if one of his female staff would go home late because of work-related overtime. His sincerity and empathy earned the admiration and support of most of the people under his management. A natural comedian, meetings were never boring because of him. I learned from him that you could be a well-loved and well-respected boss if you know how to love and respect people in the first place.

Boss #4 is gentle and friendly. He was accommodating especially to the newbies. What I got from him was learning how to work effectively with the other teams by being attentive to their expectations on a given assignment or project.

Boss #5 is a macro manager. It was probably because she came to the time when the culture and system in our department section were already in place. What I loved about her was her efforts to unite the team when some of us were not on good terms with one another. I admired her patience and understanding in dealing with our rants and bickering. Until now, she makes it a point that we communicate as a team once in a while.

Boss #6 is a micromanager. I fully understood his management style because the level of our involvement and commitment to the organization was greater as compared to some. If the other bosses taught me technical skills to do my job, Boss #6’s contribution to me was sharpening my management and decision-making skills. Indirectly, he was the reason why I decided to push through with my MBA because there were a lot of things to be done and accomplished under him. He taught me to be keen on details, be precise with data, and be always prepared when the pieces of information were needed.

Boss #7 is smart and confident. She pushed her subordinates to attend personality development training in a reputable training company. I learned from her that trusting and believing in what your subordinates can do will make a big difference in the improvement of their performance.

Boss #8 gives equal opportunities to deserving people. Being an empath, his concern for the people came off naturally. In return, he was also well-loved and respected. What I learned from him was to never stop learning and to never be complacent. I learned that being mediocre is a disservice to one’s growth and potentials.

I felt good after remembering my past bosses’ contribution to my attitude and career growth. To those who might ask if I change a job very often, the answer is no—the bosses were either rotated or resigned.

10 Years of Diligence

10 years at my current employment.

The work that has given me and my family a house and a car.

The work that has given my kids the opportunity to study in a private school.

The work that has given me the chance to pursue my graduate studies.

I couldn’t ask for more.

But somehow, I still feel like a hidden entity.

I could have done more, achieved more but timing and circumstance are not yet favoring me.

For the meantime, I will just go with the flow and see where it brings me.

Happiness is a choice.

I could have reacted negatively but happiness is my shield.

There is nothing to be depressed about because my time to fully utilize what I can offer is still waiting to be discovered.

Again, happiness is a choice.


An Entity In The Dark

Lunch date with office mates.

We discussed about how the ExCom went through yesterday. Nothing juicy about it, the two of them said.

Then one of them remarked that I should also attend the ExCom with my boss.

I told him that I don’t attend ExComs because nobody requires me anyway and I put it that way—no big deal!

He said attending ExComs and being in the company of the top management is a privilege. I agreed to him. They are privileged and the antonym of it is, I am not privileged! LOL.

Honestly, I don’t see anything wrong if I become the “taong-bahay” every Thursday. In the same way that, I won’t complain if my boss tells me to go to the Head Office during ExComs. I don’t see myself as a very important person to protest. I don’t see myself as a somebody at work to be acting like a prima donna.

Being a manager is only a title but it does not define the totality of a person. I just want to help and to serve and be productive at work. I want to learn new things and excel at it. I have personal plans and I think I’m on the right track. 🙂


The Good in Not Being on the Frontline

I used to feel bad about not being given the project team leader role because I used to equate excellence with being on the front line. I used to complain silently about how I wanted to do things my way instead of being a follower. Not that I didn’t get leadership roles anymore as there were still projects under my championship but I ached for BIG projects that could spell a difference in terms of my annual salary increase and bonus.

I was that competitive in terms of financial reward and there were times when I would approach my boss to tell him that I thought I deserved a better grade/increase/promotion.

2015 gave me the chance to work with challenging projects and it opened my eyes on the right behavior and expectations. I realize that despite the failure of my project last year, I am still calm and unassuming; a behavior that is quite different two years ago when I fought for my project and justified that it really worked just because I expected a high salary increase and bonus.

One of the executives here said that more than getting the Most Valuable Player award, the championship is more important. He said that employees who eye the MVP are those who anticipate for the reward while employees who aim to be champions are those who are after enhancing their skills. I think I belong now to those employees who aim to be champion.

Like what I said earlier, 2015 gave me the chance to be a better engineer in terms of job performance and because I do not work on the front line, I have the liberty to do things that I enjoy at work like polishing my skills without thinking of the next meeting or conference.

Being not on the front line excuses me for going home at 5:00 PM if I want to. I have more time with my children and I am very hands on to them. I can read books on the weekend without checking my company email for updates. I can go on vacation leave because I don’t belong to any group who regularly meet with the executives.

Who’s Your Boss?

Some people have this habit of claiming that their boss’ boss is their boss, too. Their boss’ boss could be the head of their department but that doesn’t make him their boss. A person’s immediate superior is his boss; not his boss’ boss. This is just to explain that a person wants to associate himself with someone who’s more powerful and more influential but doing so is rude and unfair to one’s immediate superior.

My boss’ boss is the president of the company but that doesn’t make him my boss because I get orders from my boss and he’s the one rating my performance. In addition, I respect and I have faith in my boss so there’s no need for me to claim that his boss is also my boss.