It's hard to admit, isn't it?  Your work situation could be fantastic, but let's face it - your direct supervisor is your most immediate connection to "The Man", and nobody likes "The Man."  Your boss is the only one that is available to hear your official corporate gripes.  Your boss ultimately evaluates your performance and has a direct influence on how much you get paid.  Most of the negative things you feel about your job are most likely not your boss' fault, but they have teh unfortunate position of being the only operator on the telephone line, as it were.

I've started a new job recently, and to date I've heard two questions from bosses that I've never heard before.  Questions that powerfully affected me and my view on my job.

  1. "What factors or things are getting in the way of you being successful at your job?"
  2. A sincerely asked "How are you doing?"
Amazing.  Bosses that assume I'm so phenomenal that if there's anything keeping me from doing a phenomenal job, it must be external to me.  Whether it's a corporate morass of red tape or I'm just having an off day, the assumption is that I'm an incredible worker, and can achieve some kind of GTD Nirvana.

Which brings me to my question for you, dear reader.  What would happen if you asked these questions of YOUR boss?  What would happen if you started caring about the performance of someone not below, but above you?  How much power could we give our employer, our company, and even ourselves if we asked these questions of those that supervise us?  Try it out on your boss - at very least, they'll find it refreshing.  More likely, you'll find that the more you're concerned with the performance of others, the better your performance will appear to be, because you'll be better aligned with the goals your boss wants to reach - the goals your boss will be evaluating you by.

We're all human in this world, and walking into a cubicle doesn't change that.  No matter how quickly we fall into buzzword-speak, we need to get real with the fact that we all face the same kinds of problems.  We also all have the same ultimate solution, but that's a different post.

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