Do You Work For A Good Company or Do You Just Have A Good Boss?

I often ask people who say they are happy and comfortable in their current work of place one question? Is it that you work for a good company or is it that you work for a good boss?

What is the difference? A good company maintains the same culture and treatment throughout all departments regardless of who is in charge. But simply working for a good boss means everything is dependent on who is in charge.

I have worked for companies where regardless of the boss, the company culture remains the same but I have also worked for companies where as soon as a new boss enters things change for the worse drastically.

They do say work for a good boss and not a good company because people leave but bosses and not bad companies. But I believe good companies create good bosses regardless of the boss's individual personality. Because even good bosses eventually leave bad companies and you might find yourself left with a bad one in their replacement.

Working for a startup, I have found myself trying to thing of ways whereby I can institutionalise good systems and good policies so that even if I am to leave the company, the culture will remain the same. I want current and future employees of our company to be proud of the organization as a whole and not just me as an individual. The culture should reign supreme over any individual and the environment should be that whoever joins becomes assimilated with the culture and those who are not a cultural fit find themselves in the wrong company.

This is because I have always believed there are two types of bosses, a manager and a leader, a manager manages the process and the systems while a leader goes beyond just the systems and goes out of their way to to ensure every employee is treated humanely and is given every opportunity to succeed. Now most bosses are managers and not leaders hence if a company has a bad system then you will find the boss managing a bad system and thus becoming a bad boss in the process.

From my experience, good bosses working for bad companies find themselves leaving once they realise they do not have the power to influence a better culture. It becomes exhausting for a good boss to try and manage the individual behaviours of every single employee.

And for the employees, it is wise to distinguish early on if you are working for a good boss or a good company. If you happen to have a good boss in a bad company then you should psychologically prepare yourself for the inevitable, that once that boss leaves, your life at the workplace might change drastically.

This is why every organisation should have a cultural leader(s). The once with the cache and rapport to be able to influence good culture in the work place. A good company will go out of its way to create HR policies that enables the company to hire people who are a cultural fit and have a system in place to remove those who are not a cultural fit.

This is why as the leader of a company that is just starting out, my hires will not be based on who necessarily has the best CV but who I believe will be a fit for the culture I am trying to build in order to build a sustainable business with employees who go above and beyond the call of duty not because they are coerced to but because they willingly want to. And this is why the HR department has to be the mother of all departments.

Thomas J. Kibwana

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Political Enthusiast

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