Having said that, as anyone who is, or has been, a boss can attest – theirs is not always an enviable position. This week I asked readers if they would like to have their boss’s job.
Suffice it to say that most of this week’s respondents have NO interest in taking the boss’s job. A plurality ( 35.6% ) went so far as to say “never in a million years,” while another 27.6% simply said “no.” Or, as one reader noted colorfully, “Response would be the same when asked do I want to have a frontal lobotomy: “No thank you.”
That isn’t to say that they necessarily thought their boss was doing a good job, of course. Roughly 7% said they didn’t want the job, but would like their boss to find another position – and nearly 5% who said they would want the job also said that “we’d both be better off” if they occupied the boss’s desk.
Nearly 14% said they’d like to be in the boss’s position eventually, while 9% simply said “yes” – just 2.3% weren’t sure.
Running the Gamut
The comments this week – like the bosses, no doubt – ran the gamut; from something just short of adoration to something just short of insubordination. Here’s a sampling:
I am the president and owner of my business. The beauty is I am the best boss I have ever had. I am also the toughest boss I have ever had (on myself). There are certainly days which I wish I could trade places with someone and let them face the responsibilities and headaches but, most of the time I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world (except maybe retired billionaire).
I have a great boss. She walks through fire daily so that her team doesn’t have too.
No – But my wife wouldn’t give up the spot anyway!
Let’s see I actively pursue budget on a monthly basis, I handle all personal, & personnel issues within my group and his group. I handle all problems with outside clients AND I keep him informed of everything I’ve done so he looks good with his boss…. Gee I think I already have his job
I happen to have a boss that is a skilled manager. I know that I am lucky because some of my prior bosses have been from the 9th level of hell.
I am fortunate to work for an employer that encourages and practices ‘straight talk’, so if I have something important to say, I say it with impunity.
There were, of course, some things that hadn’t yet been said:
Having your “trusted” best friend as your business partner is bad for this business – I’m watching her rob you blind!
I spend more time tracking what I do, than doing what I do…get real!
You need to step up and give this unit some direction. You also need to start listening to your team about pain points, and the suggestions we have made to solve for those pain points.
Things are getting better!
Could you please read email messages beyond the first sentence?
I don’t need a five minute voicemail (literally) to let me know your kid is sick and you’ll be working from home. I end up listening to the entire message thinking there might be some direction or tid bit of information that I might actually need.
Stop believing everything your other direct report tells you….The job didn’t turn out to be exactly what you promised it would be…so how about a raise????
And there were a number of calls for better communication:
Stop by and talk to me sometime.
If you had been more available to discuss my questions and concerns on a regular basis, some problems could have been avoided and I could have done things the way you wanted (but did not communicate) the first time.
Your employees would like to hear from or see you occasionally when you didn’t have a complaint!
I know you’re my boss, and our personalities are completely opposite, and you don’t like me like that, but I really want to sleep with you.
And just some great comments:
Great job! (Just in case this gets back to her somehow)
I want that raise that I’ve been promised for the last year and a half! (I’ve asked frequently, and been told, “we’re working on it.” Yeah, and I’m working on my resume!
But this week’s Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who noted, “I was sending him a card for bosses day. now that you have terrified me with your question, I’m putting a check in it.”
Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!
Thinking that there might be a correlation between the number of reports and their effectiveness as a boss, we asked readers how many people reported to their boss:
- 37.9% - two to five reports
- 31.6% - six to nine reports
- 19.0% - ten to fifteen reports
- 7.4% - > fifteen reports
- 4.2% - < two reports
|I have a great boss. She walks through fire daily so that her team doesn't have too.|
|No - who else would I blame when I have to deliver bad news?|
|He is incredibly smart but has too much -- too many varied functions -- under him. Too much of his talent probably goes towards getting up to speed at the last minute on issues under his purview in order to present them to higher-ups, boards etc. Talk about stressful!|
|It is what I live for!|
|Yes, but only until October 16... after my replacement gets the 5500s filed.|
|I could certainly do a better job - then again so could a brain, damaged monkey. Come to think of it, that might be who is doing the job now.|
|The old Peter Principle at work here. I suspect I could use a different job myself; just check with my peons.|
|She is constantly juggling meetings and projects. I'm not sure when she has time to breathe, much less enjoy a personal life. In addition, she's a single mom. Actually, I've been there, done that with this type life, and I enjoy having time to have a life outside work.|
|To some degree, I already do have my boss's job. We perform similar functions & both have people reporting to us who also have similar duties.|
|Response would the same when asked do I want to have a frontal lobotomy, "no thank you."|
|Nope. Been there; done that. No longer interested in 'management'.|
|He fits the definition of an abuser in this edition of Newsdash to a T!|
|We do exactly the same work for different clients of the company, but he gets paid more!|
|I love the job I am currently doing and would not want all the direct report my boss has.|
|The job is what it is. I'm shooting for the ducats.|
|I'd like the 25% pay increase, but it's not enough to make up for the supervisory responsibility.|
|I already do everything he does, and better! He comes to me for all the answers, runs everything by me, goes with my recommended course of action, etc., the only difference is that he makes a whole lot more money than I do! So yes, wouldn't mind the ownership part if the compensation comes with it!|
|He has to deal directly with the crazy owners - I need that buffer!!|
|He's an actuary|
|I am the president and owner of my business. The beauty is I am the best boss I have ever had. I am also the toughest boss I have ever had (on myself). There are certainly days which I wish I could trade places with someone and let them face the responsibilities and headaches but, most of the time I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world (except maybe retired billionaire).|
|I don't even like my job some of the time.|
|I work part time - about 27 hours a week and could never do my bosses job without going back to full time plus more. I have 3 kids and I know that I would not be able to balance home and work with that many hours. I have many responsibilities that I enjoy and can still have a flexible schedule. It is the best of both worlds.|
|He is a great buffer between some people in upper management that like to make my life difficult if they get around him.|
|Only if I could pick and choose the parts of the job I think I could do better.|
|No - But my wife wouldn't give up the spot anyway!|
|...but I'd do things much differently. Instead of the negative energy that typically pervades our department (especially when the boss is feeling the heat), my management style is more laid-back, fun, and approachable - I believe we'd be an even higher-functioning team if the negative energy was gone.|
|My boss travels way too much and takes international phone calls in the middle of the night! There is no way I would ever want her job.|
|She'd be retired, and I'd be making over seven times what I currently make! And that's without bonuses! I'd give anything to make her salary for just a year!|
|I WAS SENDING HIM A CARD FOR BOSSES DAY. NOW THAT YOU HAVE TERRIFIED ME WITH YOUR QUESTION, I'M PUTTING A CHECK IN IT.|
|Not just "No", but "Hell, No!" I really enjoy the working relationship that my boss and I have, but I do not want or need the stress that she is constantly under. When I leave at the end of the day - my work stays in the office until the following morning. Not so for her.|
|let's see I actively pursue budget on a monthly basis, I handle all personal, & personnel issues within my group and his group. I handle all problems with outside clients AND I keep him informed of everyting i've done so he looks good with his boss.... Gee I think I already have his job|
NO -I already have enough responsibility and stress. But it's relevant to know that he is the CEO, and I am neither interested nor qualified to take that position. I will stick with HR.
No. Never, not in a million years. I can't figure out why she wanted it.
Only if it was the only way I could stay employed.
Ordinarily, I would like to have my bosses' job, which is HR Director, but there are days...
|Nothing really. I tell him straight out what I feel and he takes it. I do it to help him and the company, not to be critical.|
|Nothing. I happen to have a boss that is a skilled manager. I know that I am lucky because some of my prior bosses have been from the 9th level of hell.|
|I've been blessed with a great boss, and have no problem saying exactly what's on my mind.|
|same as above|
|Great job! (Just in case this gets back to her somehow)|
|That he's a terrible manager.|
|Could you please read email messages beyond the first sentence?|
|I have never been afraid to tell my boss anything.|
|I don't need a five minute voicemail (literally) to let me know your kid is sick and you'll be working from home. I end up listening to the entire message thinking there might be some direction or tid bit of information that I might actually need.|
|Stop micromanaging certain functions. Respect your management team and give them the authority to do their jobs. (Luckily he does not micro-manage my dept, but he is overly involved in several other key departments.|
|How about a raise or a bigger bonus?|
|Quit being rude, quit wasting time, quit wasting money. Oh yeah - and you are an obsessive,compulsive joke for an administrator. You must have bought your MBA from a pawn shop.|
|Why don't you wear a clean tie for a change?|
|Nothing. She's very open and receptive, and I can't think of anything I would like to say that I haven't been able to. I've never had a boss like this. In the past I could have given a long wish list, but she's definitely a keeper!|
|Nothing. We have a very open, collegial relationship. I've already said it all! I consider myself very lucky!|
|Your employees would like to hear from or see you occasionally when you didn't have a complaint!|
|If this job doesn't work out, you can always go on the road with your rendition of "Muskrat Love".|
|that I plan to retire in not more than two years|
|That I truly enjoy working for her - it's a pleasure.|
|The tone of an organization come from the top down|
|I know you're my boss, and our personalities are completely opposite, and you don't like me like that, but I really want to sleep with you.|
|He really is an exceptionally awesome person...but he already knows that.|
|The job didn't turn out to be exactly what you promised it would be...so how about a raise????|
|Stop by and talk to me sometime.|
|Having your "trusted" best friend as your business partner is bad for this business - I'm watching her rob you blind!|
|Nothing. I have a great boss for the most part. I've learned from him and am appreciated by him. What more could you ask for!|
|Learn to listen!|
|There isn't really anything I haven't been able to say. I am blessed with a good boss and a good relationship where I feel free to speak my mind. I wouldn't want her job because she does something totally different that I do which means I get to run my own show. Works well for me.|
|That he can't retire next year.|
|Actually, nothing. I am fortunate to work for an employer that encourages and practices 'straight talk', so if I have something important to say, I say it with impunity.|
|Please fight harder to promote this department within the organization.|
|He needs to spend less time just forwarding e-mails and more time READING the e-mails, DIGESTING the information, and then telling us what is important about the e-mail, if anything.|
|I love my boss, so I have said Thanks several times. Probably my only complaint that I have not voiced is that their disorganization makes my job harder than it needs to be. But then again, I am not perfect either!|
|If you had been more available to discuss my questions and concerns on a regular basis, some problems could have been avoided and I could have done things the way you wanted (but did not communicate) the first time.|
|I'd say, "When everything's a crisis, nothing is a crisis. You need to be able to prioritize - and that means letting some things go. We can't possibly be all things to all people - we'd be more effective if we were allowed to focus only on the most mission-critical components of our jobs."|
|Things are getting better!|
|Stop believing everything your other direct report tells you....|
|My boss- that he's great, my manager- that she's terrible!|
|I want that raise that I've been promised for the last year and a half! (I've asked frequently, and been told, "we're working on it." Yeah, and I'm working on my resume!|
|get a new job!|
|I spend more time tracking what I do, then doing what I do...get real!|
|There is nothing that I haven't said (good or bad) - we are extremely honest and open with each other.|
|You need to step up and give this unit some direction. YOu also need to start listening to your team about pain points, and the suggestions we have made to solve for those pain points.|