Dilip Mate is an old employee working in IT department for last 15 years in the company. He started his career as a trainee in IT department and grown as IT head of one location. His responsibilities include IT support to all vertical of the company. The company is largest regional media company with newspapers, television, web, magazines etc. Dilip has seen almost 12-14 different bosses in his 15 years of career and surprisingly he managed to work with all bosses. Definitely few bosses were nuts and were there due to their loyalty with the owners. Their only qualification was they were in good books of the directors.
Dilip is straight forwards and is not at all political and diplomatic.
“So Dilip, how you manage these different bosses?” once I asked him.
“Oh, it is clear, working 15 years in one department and in same organization, I gained enough knowledge about the organization and working style of the people.”
“So what exactly you do.”
“When any new boss comes here, I am the first person going in his cabin and asking clear expectation from him.”
“What exactly you do?”
“I go and tell, Sir I am working here for 15 years and worked with different superiors with different personalities. I don’t know your management style. But let me know clearly how I should report you? Do you expect me to come your cabin every morning and evening to report about the work? You style may be either democratic, autocratic or mix of both, but it is always better to clarify everything now”
“What is the reaction of boss?”
“He surprises; perhaps I am the only person to ask such stupid questions. But after sometimes he comes out from the shock.” He told, “Bosses have unique expectations from their subordinates and if boss does not understand, then we should go to them ask them what are their priorities?”
“This is too much; bosses are bosses and they have the authority.”
“Yes, but they should clarify the expectations from their reportees.”
“Agreed, but always it is not possible.” As the boss of somebody I told him.
“Most of the time, they can be unreasonable, can expect everything, can give very little space for decisions. Hence as a subordinate, I go to them and clarify everything. It helps me perform better. Professionals like you may not like my style. But I enjoy this.” He smiled.
I could not comment on his response. What do you think?