I Am The Boss. I Am The Leader. I Am …. The Boss!

RULE #1 of 1 of – I am the boss, I am the leader, I am THE BOSS!

It is hereby understood by all that the above is true and that there are no exceptions to this rule! If I am ever in the wrong which we all know is impossible but if I am ever wrong the rule in this office will be I the boss am never wrong nor will I ever be wrong. Whatever went wrong is YOUR FAULT!

STRONG WORDS FROM an obviously self-assured man with no shortage of confidence or ego. Be this a dictator type mentality or “old school management” the fact remains whomever has the gold makes the rules. Your choice is to accept things as they are while continuing to functionally perform your job in order to continue being kept on the payroll or shove off to another sea with hopefully calmer waters.

As archaic as this may sound I do not fully disagree with the statements from the first paragraph in this article. It is the inherit right of the “boss” to set down the rules of the company as he sees fit as long as they conform to Federal and State Labor Laws. If you consistently display resiliency in this iron fisted climate you will not only have proved your mettle but learned how to survive and grow. A demand for your services will ensue.

There are no known shortages of Team Leaders, Unit Heads, Supervisors and all other such frivolous title holders but when push comes to shove what the boss wants the boss gets. The henchmen are there to make sure all edicts are followed. If they slip up or allow one of their underlings to slip up the “I’m The Boss” type of boss will act swiftly and decisively.

When you were in school invariably it was the teachers that were toughest on you were the ones you learned the most from. These educators purposely set the bar high knowing if they pushed or leaned on you hard enough eventually you will academically achieve above the target range.

The same holds true for the boss who only wants things done in a certain way which is to say his way. Those who seemingly are “ridden” the hardest for extended periods are usually those employees that the boss sees sparks of future greatness in. He knows if he lets up on the reigns he just may have caused the curtain to come down on a promising career before the curtain reached the rafters.

An unyielding stance may have been a part of his upbringing whereupon sensing their child could slide down to become an underachiever his parents decided to push him as hard as they could to the limit they knew they could push him. If they did not push him with failure looming the parents themselves will feel as if they have failed thier child. Now several successful years later he takes that same style hoping to make somebody in his organization a “star.”

Obviously each boss has their own make-up. Some bosses act and react in such erratic fashion their own behavior is a blur to them. In a quiet moment they may reflect back on their rantings to gain some clarity or get relief from the anxiety from these moments of child-like tantrums that they seemingly cannot control but lack the courage or resolve to seek out help for. Make no mistake a tyrant of a boss can actually be terrified of himself since he does not understand why he acts the way he does towards his staff or towards almost anybody he comes into contact with.

Whatever the method the boss elects to run his company by it is not prudent to publicly question him nor is it a smart practice to become the office lawyer/leader of the revolution. If your compensation is superior to what others in your line of work receive chances are you will take your lumps while continuing on. Should the reverse be true you know what your course of action must be as laid out earlier in this article.

The boss is rarely a real leader as he feels he does not need or want to be one. The boss who is either an owner or well connected to his board of directors is there to maximize profits. He is an absolute aka the anti-leader. His thumb print is on everything. He will not risk letting a mistake lead to a reduction in status nor let leakage spew from his hull.

One last rule: the boss can be your teacher mentor or whatever else he should so choose but one thing should be abundantly clear to you that he is THE BOSS meaning you and he along with your wives will likely never be friendly or socialize after hours. The boss is the king of his office! He is THE BOSS! Friendship is not normally part of your relationship.


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. Joel, I really enjoyed reading your post … with a smile on
    my face. It is a fact that almost all people regardless of their rank in the company would like to feel like a BOSS in their own department etc.

    We all know that being a BOSS, especially being your own
    boss is exciting and rewarding, however it can prove to be a short lived dream and cause distress and upset if it goes wrong. To reduce the possibility of failure we need to make sure we research the important areas of our market and spend time continually educating ourselves in the disciplines of running a business, department or whatever we want to a Boss of. Each Boss needs to realize that they need to receive invaluable support and probably realize ‘they didn’t know what they don’t know’ and be able to develop a realistic plan for their business.

    Charles Erwin Wilson so aptly once stated,
    “A good boss makes his men realize they have more ability than they think they have so that they consistently do better work than they thought they could.”

    “People ask the difference between a leader and a boss. The
    leader leads, and the boss drives.”

    Theodore Roosevelt

    • Jonathan, Welcome back! Thank you for your very kind compliment. I was my own boss for quite awhile but wound up hating it. Many “bosses” would rather just the “boss” and pass the blame onto somebody else if something should go wrong. Other than being your own boss have you ever worked for the “I’m the boss” type and how did you fare in that atmosphere? Your return response is very valuable as is you work.

    • Wow! Excellent post Jonathan. Kudos to you for sharing some very keen insights. I especially liked your distinctions between bosses and leaders which was something I was attempting to do in my own post, only not so eloquently. I appreciate your input.

  2. Hmmmmm… This is a very interesting point of view, Joel. But might you consider that such an extreme level of micro-managing is damaging to employees who could truly shine without such an “iron fist”? It’s just a thought.

    I know that through the years I have had such tyrant bosses and in point of fact, did not perform at my best simply because of their rather childish “king of the hill” attitude. Yes, I still did my work — but there was not as much passion or drive in it had I been given more free reign by a more emotionally stable and far sighted manager. I’m not saying I disagree. It’s just that it shows there are all types of people in the world. And we all get along differently with each personality type.

    Should we penalize the super stars who have somewhat of a prima donna personality or make allowances for their foibles and instead focus on the fantastic work they produce. Should we reward meek submissiveness to these dominant personality types? And should their employees who turn in lackluster performance because they cannot thrive in such an environment but stuck forever in a kind of too good to quit but too bad to stay sort of purgatory negatively impacting their career advancement year after year?

    I’m no guru so I don’t have the answers. But your insightful posts always raise questions and these are just a few of them.

    Thanks as always for sharing your take with us!

    Andréa Howard

    • Andrea, To this day I still haven’t figured out how to put that character above the e in your name. For that I must offer you my apology! No disrespect is intended! Tyrant type of micromanagers can cause irreparable harm to the company. In general you raise some very valid points and questions to which there are no easy answers. Each company culture is different as is each employee. Some respond very well to the drill Sergeant method while others function best when they are left to do what they have to do while making sure to complete their tasks. Knowing yourself under which condition would you perform best? If I may ask one more question are those that thrive under strict rule better prepared to handle variou other type of structures than the employee who comes from an organization where each employee was empowered? Thank you for your very kind compliment and of course you continued readership which means so very much to me. All the best.

    • Hi Joel. Thank you for your kind words. You pose some very thought provoking questions. I would say that those that thrive under strict rule most likely don’t feel inspired to step out of their comfort zones and achieve greater, more creative results. They are so focused on just “doing their jobs” that it might be stifling. However I could be wrong.

      In general I think people should be empowered to do the very best they can which can lead to far greater achievements than instilling a worker bee mentality. But, it’s a balancing act, this I realize. Though it pains me to say it, some people just want to show up, do as little as possible to get by, and draw a paycheck. Personally, I think that’s a very sad way to live.

      Having been my own boss for some years now, I know what a difficult position it is! But it is also very empowering and I am definitely the type of person that would chafe under an overbearing, micromanaging boss (and have in the past).

      For those bosses out there who do have employees working under you I would echo Jonathan’s comments. I say let them discover how great they can be! That makes them look good, you look good, and the whole company look good.

      Thanks again for your compliments Joel. Happy New Year!


    • Ahndrea, Each person responds to a different type of stimuli so it’s hard to judge. Some bosses don’t want their employees to discover how great they can be for fear of having to pay them more or perhaps sensing they can do better elsewhere. I have worked under many different bosses. Very few (except for one or two) really gave you the power to empower yourself. In sales which is what I did the mentality is entirely different. As for those who want to show up, do as little as possible to get by, and draw a paycheck for some that may be the only way they how to function. I can understand that type of person to a point. Thank YOU for your comments and for your New years wish.