Last week’s topic on National Boss Day led me to think about the fact that the word “boss” has a mixed reputation. Boss is a term that most progressive-minded leaders today do not use lightly, and with good reason. The word’s definition comes from the Dutch baas, which means master. In this era of employees as co-workers, allies, teammates and partners, the leader/manager as master approach is not likely to win friends and influence people.
Food for Thought ~
Yet, there’s a delicious irony in observing happy employees who like and respect their supervisor/manager/leader and refer to him or her affectionately as their “boss.” Indeed, it can be an honorific when voluntarily used by the employee. I suspect the opposite usage also applies in reverse. Unhappy employees who do not like or respect their supervisor/manager might also be overheard to refer to him/her as their boss, but in a very different tone of voice. So, when used by employees, the term continues to have a home in the workplace. It’s all in the tone.
Question for the day ~
How do you think your employees refer to you?