Monday, June 17, 2013

Being a boss's favorite

I was discussing with a friend how some officers always seem to be in good books of bosses and get good confidential report entries year after year. Here I am expanding upon the wisdom that I derived from the discussion so that others may benefit from it. Let me beforehand declare that this piece is not meant to hurt those who are bosses’ darlings despite not following the wisdom.

1.       Bosses continue to lose the capacity to judge others’ characters, and this incapacitation occurs in exponential terms when a boss  becomes big boss and then the top boss. Keep this always in mind in dealing with the boss.
2.       Behave like his / her best chamcha in the world. Gifts are OK but don’t ignore greeting gestures. For example, male subordinates in Delhi can try bending their body at the waist (even if back pain) and pretending  to touch male boss’s  knee. In UP, Bihar and nearby states, it helps to say pranam instead of namaste or good morning. Never use hi, hello or similar other western salutations. For female subordinates, it helps to offer the female boss a broad smile and compliment for her beauty or dress sense (even if it is n’th time for the same item or style). Helping the female boss in getting a vanity item helps too, even if it involves making a tour programme with her. There are great cross-gender gestures but I have other tips to give and space is limited.
3.       Gestures matter in other situations too. Open door for him; sit only after he has sat and you have made the condescending gesture of pushing the chair under him;  be in the airport if he’s arriving in your city on an official / unofficial trip – better if you can reach the tarmac.
4.       Closely notice the boss’s likes and dislikes. Illustrate your liking and dislike for those things by deeds, especially when he has had a few drinks in a party. Your deeds can take many forms, e.g. if he likes pan-masala, keep one can in pocket and offer him whenever you meet him; if she dislikes cockroaches, kill an imaginary roach in her room with a file when she’s busy on her phone.  
5.       Never say no. Say yes and then forget doing the job. If the job cannot be forgotten, do it half-heartedly and present the output in such a way that the boss feels obliged.
6.       Backbite. It helps in many ways. You are seen as a confidant (How? Refer to point 1 above) and other guys are suspected.
7.       Beseech. Meet the boss often just before children’s summer holidays if you intend to take them to the hills. After not doing much throughout the year, be seen in the crucial one month ( e.g. just before submitting CR form to him or asking for leave) to be working hard. 
8.       Tell lies. Truth never triumphs, whatever Kathopnishad might say. Request him to give you an outstanding CR entry as your next promotion is due (though it may be far yet). Make excuses for not delivering but don’t repeat them in succession. For leave, don’t say, you have an urgent work; say, so and so in your distant relationship is serious. Better still, say, you have to donate blood to him. Keep a few lies always in hand; never know, when you’d need them suddenly.
9.       Dramatise. If late in office (and you can often be), tell in graphic details how you were almost killed by a speeding SUV or that you had not seen such a long jam in your life or that you had a stomach ache that made your viscera come to your mouth or … Try to cook up an interesting story but if you can’t (all don’t have very high IQ, I know), at least put a lot of hyperboles in the excuse.

I’ll stop here. My advice is gender neutral in case of boss as well as subordinate, and whenever the word ‘he’ comes, it means ‘she’ too unless it has an inappropriate connotation.

See how different traits progress as a guy goes up the ladder
(Btw, green line shows idealism and leadership qualities.)