“I’ve got a great relationship with my boss. He and I are the best of friends. I will never have to worry about my job. My boss would never let anything happen to me. Besides his wife and my wife have known each other for years.”
CAN YOUR BOSS really be your friend? When the time comes to make that difficult decision as to who stays and who goes will your “friendship” factor in?
From the day I started my very first job as a Messenger/Clerk in an Insurance Brokerage Office I worked for many different kinds of bosses. Some were incredible inspirators who knew what direction to point me in. Some were tough and nerve-wracking to work for while others down to earth. One fellow, I worked under eventually became what I thought was a really good friend and just a good guy. Having lived through a bevy of mistakes in life we somehow formed a bond. A bond that broker the day he fired me by e-mail.
Please forgive the bitter brooding tone of this article but as a person whose livelihood depends on forming associations with those who are empowered to hire and fire I would be remiss in my duties if I did not give you a small dose of reality on this issue. From my experiences and I am sure from many others it can be said safely a boss can never be a truly trusted friend. It’s just not possible!
There are those who would strenuously disagree with my opinions based on the relationship they have with their boss. How the boss has been there for his employee in their darkest hour. Offering support (financial, emotional, etc.) that seems everlasting. It is potentially possible the core of the relationship will never change. This is an exception to the rule. As for things never changing all I can say is never does not always mean forever.
The boss is the boss! He must clearly be in charge leaving no doubt he is in charge. Final decisions are his to make. Taking a myriad of facts and factors into account he must do what he feels best represents the interest of the company. Rewarded with that responsibility how will your “friend” see you in the grand scheme of things. If he thinks he can replace you with somebody who will do more work for less money making him a hero in the eyes of his board or stockholders is he going to sacrifice his ascension into corporate superstardom for the sake of keeping his golfing partner?
Manpower costs vs the profit margin. The cost of labor vs. the need to increase profits. In this equation does friendship sound like it factors in at all? In truth whether you or I agree or disagree business and friendships with management are not synonymous with each other. To “get down to business” means exactly that. “This is about business so don’t take this personally” It’s just about business and doing business.
Now let me make a 180-degree turn. I happen to agree that friendships in business (especially in the same office) are ticking time bombs. Never do business with friends! Never do a friend a favor by hiring him just because he needs a job. The strains and stresses of everyday business can and will overpower and destroy your friendship. Why would you allow yourself to be put into this position?
Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons, mothers and daughters and on and on often face the same fate. The underlying need to be the one instead of them can quickly engulf your relationship cutting through like a knife through melting butter.
You’ve got a friend? Look around with both eyes and ears open. You may soon find that your friend is no longer a friend and cannot be your friend as it just is not mean to be.