As children, we are told that our parents know best. As students we are told that our teachers should be heeded, and just when we leave our education behind, with dreams of employment and freedom, we are brought face to face with the ultimate in authoritative concepts, “The boss knows it all”.
While being a “Boss” does entail having to rise from the ranks and knowing the intricacies of a process or company, the presumption that a boss knows it all is usually incorrect and often occupies the head space only of the boss itself!
A good CEO or manager, or anybody in a position of authority can tell you that the idea that “the boss knows it all” is an outdated and dangerous concept to cling to. Some of the most obvious reasons are:
- Believing you know it all will cause you to micromanage and thus create a chaotic work environment
- It usually inflates an individual’s ego to unbearable proportions.
- An individual can be so blinded by this idea that they might fail to grasp new and profitable ideas
- Subordinates are alienated and become disgruntled
- Innovation and ingenuity is discouraged
Thus it is prudent to replace the “Boss knows it all” with “the boss wants to know more”. Any authoritative figure that is constantly learning new things from his team and by himself will be an asset to his company and a true leader of people.
Subordinates, however, must remember that the root of this concept comes from the notion that a figure of authority should be respected and obeyed. Even if what they are saying is incorrect or questionable, it should be pointed out in a professional and appropriate manner. This is something that we should definitely practice since we should only do unto others as we would want done to us.