In the course of employment an employee will have to work under competent bosses and they may also have to work under incompetent bosses.
Now I will write about how a competent Boss can be. A competent boss may come up from the grass root level either in this organization or another organization. As a consequence of this, he will have adequate job knowledge, knowing how to delegate the work, be a good communicator, knowing how to develop his teammates (subordinates) and lastly a good human. Therefore, his teammates respect him so to say he commands respect from his team. He will not demand or sound unreasonable in giving time limits to his assistants.
Because of his Job knowledge he will understand the potential difficulties encountered by his team members and warn them in advance about those which they are going to encounter in their jobs. He is good to his team members but that does not mean he is not a hard task master. The subordinates also know this and do not make any loose talk or delay completion of the work.
A good boss plays a proactive and supportive role and projects the good work done by his assistants or subordinates in front of the higher management. At the same time he will try to correct any bad work done by his assistants at his level without taking it to the higher management.
Every organization has competent and incompetent bosses. Now let us write a few words about incompetent bosses. An incompetent boss will not have sufficient job knowledge and does not try to know what his assistants are doing. His time limits are also very vague and he always wants to show a better performance than this predecessors. He will not take into account the changing circumstances. He is not able to guide his subordinates in any manner. He accepts sycophancy and always tries to find out from such people about weaknesses of other people in his department. He will keep on harping on their weakness and he will point the same thing out even during Performance Appraisals.
The writer had one incompetent boss who did not know the functional area other than production planning. He was transferred from some other unit came in and took over with a designation of Production manager and head of manufacturing plant in a reputed company like Larsen & Toubro Ltd. because of this position he was sent to Germany for training there. There he was seen working in stores with modern and automatic equipment because of such equipments the output was higher and quicker.
After coming back to India he discontinued casual labour, which the stores under me were using for any unskilled extra workload. Then he also stopped the overtime (OT) of workers in the entire plant. After sometime he realized his mistakes but the workers were refusing to do OT. However, he did not permitted casual labour in the stores. While he was talking to me he mentioned how stores in Germany were working, and we had to do it the same way.
He was talking about Germany but was not able to get the funds required for the sophisticated equipment from the higher management. The infrastructure available was for heavy machinery and not for light items like Switch Gear. Due to my boss’s wrong policies we were losing on production. The chief of production and I worked out a suitable plan. With this plan we were able to produce planned production. Finally, my boss was transferred outside Mumbai and we started with a practical boss who understood the situation and restored normalcy.
In my next job I became the Departmental Head reporting to the CEO. He was very competent and did not interfere in the departmental work unless asked for. He also used his discretionary powers judiciously. When one of my family members got sick he sanctioned interest free loan and also got a special medicine from Netherlands at company cost. In a goodwill foreign visit sponsored by a big supplier he also granted the foreign exchange as an allowance. But he was a hard task master and would not spare anybody who was not able to complete the work as per the plan and timing. He also had thorough knowledge of both technical and commercial areas required for the company. In addition he had the art of delegating work properly and was very practical. He also participated in major commercial negotiations on my request when the supplier’s representative was either a Vice-President or President or Executive Director. Thus a competent boss is one who commands respect and is a leader in all the working areas.