Who’s the boss?

It’s Labor Day in the United States. A holiday I don’t quite understand. Any holiday with the word labor in it doesn’t seem like a holiday to me. Frequently Americans complete projects on Labor Day. It’s a day we finish things, say good bye to summer and orient ourselves to fall. You can read about the real reason for Labor Day here.

We’re at our son’s house in Altoona, PA for a Labor Day project. We’re replacing a deck on his house.

I’m the boss for this project. In a former life, I was a contractor so I know my way around a power saw and hammer. My right to be boss is based on experience. I have expert power, the right of influence based on one’s ability.

Knowing who the boss is expedites projects. We won’t have a power struggle even though there are areas, our son Mark, knows way more than I’ll ever know. Mark and his wife will control design and I’ll control construction.

Knowing who the boss is creates a feeling of confidence in others.

Knowing who the boss is establishes a pecking order.

Knowing who the boss is identifies the decision maker.

Occasionally, I get the feeling that “boss” is a bad word with negative implication. However, an organization without a competent boss flounders in confusion. On the other hand bosses with outdated expertise,who cling to power, hinder organizations.

Organizations miss opportunity when young experts are held down by an older leadership structure controlled by an old guard reluctant to empower new young leaders.

Vision and vitality are frequently fueled by young energetic experts. Is it time for your organization to empower young new bosses?


Why does the term boss have negative connotations?

How might an organization empower young leaders?