People asked if I went to see the movie, Horrible Bosses, that came out a few weeks ago with Jennifer Aniston and others. The answer is, “No.” Nothing against Jen & friends, but I’ve survived horrible bosses, so I didn’t need to see the screen adaptation. I’m not being cranky or anything (okay, maybe I am) but anyone that’s worked a while has survived their share of supervisors that were far from super and managers from hot places with pitchforks.
Personally, I can report being happily managed by a guy who is supportive and encouraging. That’s not always been the case, but I have been more fortunate than most. In the sales part of my career, so much is about producing results; if the numbers are good, you are rarely disturbed. Many of my human resource roles had very tangible outcomes with deadlines and project milestones that allowed me a fair amount of autonomy. You probably see a theme, that freedom and not being micromanaged is very important to me. But, I’ve had some real doozies—and I won’t bore you with them here
Horrible Bosses, the movie, exceeded financial expectations grossing $28 million for the weekend after 4th of July and it earned $10 million the Friday night it opened. This is an R-rated comedy about employees plotting to kill their bosses. A lot of people must have had a really rough week at work. On a more serious note, bosses are changing a lot. With fewer dollars to invest in leadership development; employees end up with managers, bosses, supervisors and not real leaders. I hear about managers that would have never been promoted 20 years ago—who have made it because of their tech savvy.
There is an absence of training for leaders in companies to understand how to manage multiple generations in the workforce. Today there are potentially four generations working together at your workplace. The Traditionals—born before 1946. Baby Boomers born 1946-1964. Generation X-born 1965-1981. The Millennials (aka Gen Y) born after 1981. No wonder the directors, leaders, managers, supervisors, team leaders are bewildered. Each generation has a different view of being motivated, rewarded, recognized, and their work ethic, attitudes on work/life and perspective on life in general is shaded with the lens of their entire generation. With budget cuts, recessionary fears and new regulatory environments in many industries; I’m enjoying my role as an individual contributor. Leaders have a tougher role than ever. HR professionals (I am a lifetime member of the HR community) have a tough job designing employee benefit plans, compensation arrangements and employee relations strategies to attract and retain these disparate communities.
So, I won’t be visiting the local multiplex to see Horrible Bosses, I lived through that already. You can share your views on today's bosses (horrible or not) anonymously on this post by clicking the comments button and choosing "comment as" anonymous.