Bosses, Teachers, & Coaches

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In some ways good bosses and good teachers are similar.  Both are trying to help you grow, increase your abilities.  A priori they know more than you do and will have a hard time investing energy in you until they see you acknowledge that.

Neither a boss nor a teacher can succeed if you fail.  So you have a common agenda: your success.  You must also see this as a win-win situation...so you must succeed in a way that makes your boss or teacher look great.

With this in mind, here are two pieces of advice:

1.) Don't try to trump, out-do, out-guess, or beat the ideas of your boss or teacher until you have reliably demonstrated that you can reproduce his/her decision process.  Only after you've earned  respect and confidence will you have the right to go further.  When you really do go further, it's the greatest reward a boss or teacher can ever get.

2.) Don't let your boss or teacher ever be surprised.  Even with good news.  You are not in a win-win situation with a superior if you withhold information.  They should feel fully confident that anything they might want to know will come from you.


2002 Michael E. Doherty