Is Your Boss Difficult?

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Author: Richard Dare Ajiboye

Publisher: Anchor Communications Ltd

Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi


One of the ways to get smooth career advancement is mastery of effective management of one’s boss. This is especially imperative because it is the boss that will assess one’s performance and recommend one for promotion. So by implication, those who do not maintain cordial relationships with their bosses will find it very difficult to enjoy their (bosses’) goodwill, including promotion. This fact informs the choice of this text interrogatively christened “Is Your Boss Difficult?” for review this week.

It is written by Dr Richard Dare Ajiboye, immediate past General Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the Bible Society of Nigeria (BSN). Ajiboye, a PhD holder in Business Administration is also a Certified Professional Coach, Licensed Human Resource Practitioner, Public Speaker and Succession Planning Expert.

Structurally, this text is divided into ten chapters. Chapter one is the introduction. Here, the author, through a random survey carried out in mid-2006 in some Nigerian companies, offers aggregation of views of subordinates about whom a boss is, based on the relationship existing between them and their bosses. The views are documented in this text.

He says it is easy to manage subordinates by virtue of the power and authority a leader has. Ajiboye expatiates that the boss has the carrot he or she dangles for good performance and the stick he or she uses when the subordinates breach organisational or work standards.

According to this author, “Most people are good at managing their subordinates even though there are problems at times in doing this because of human complexities. Managing the boss is usually more problematic. It is problematic because the influence in this case can only be persuasive and non-directive. The boss reserves the right to or not to concede to subordinates’ persuasion.”

Ajiboye advises that if you are conscious of the simple fact that the success of your boss is yours in a way, you will do everything possible to succeed.

Chapter two focuses on the subject matter of types of bosses. The author says as human beings are different in personality, so also are bosses different from one another. Ajiboye explains that there are no two people with exactly the same personality traits. Such differences, no matter how slight, would make a great difference in relationship, perception, decision-making and problem-solving approaches, he educates.

Ajiboye says the secret of ever succeeding in any relationship, work environment inclusive, is the ability to understand and appreciate differences among people. The different types of bosses identified by Ajiboye are the achievement-oriented/autocratic boss; people-oriented boss; laissez-faire boss and situational boss.    This author says an achievement-oriented/autocratic boss is the one driven by result and does not care how results are achieved especially that he has dictatorial inclination. As regards a people-oriented boss, Ajiboye educates that this type of boss though interested in getting results, is mainly concerned about staff welfare. He is democratic in nature and conscious of collective commitment or team work.

According this author, a laissez-faire boss is lackadaisical in his style of getting things done. He often sees his subordinates as technocrats who should know what to do at any given time. As for a situational boss, this author illuminates that this is a complete person in leading subordinates. He is a combination of the three types of bosses earlier mentioned and leads according to situation, person and time.

In chapters three to six, Ajiboye analytically X-rays concepts such as functions of an executive; how to understand your boss; managing relationship with your boss and competences required to manage your boss.

Chapter seven is entitled “Tips on managing yourself”. The author says it is quite obvious that managing your boss successfully starts with how well you are able to manage yourself. Ajiboye adds that it will be absolutely difficult for a person who lacks the right qualities to manage him- or herself to manage another person properly. In his words, “Most leadership problems that have been experienced are not unconnected with the fact that people who are not mature enough to manage themselves are for one wrong reason or another made to manage others.”

In chapters eight to ten, this author discusses tips for managing your boss; why your boss could be hard and conclusion on how to achieve effective relationship with people.

As regards conceptual quality, the scorecard of this text is excellent. The concepts reflect a high level of primary and secondary forms of research as well as logical presentation.

Stylistically, the language of the text is standard and radiates good word order, simplicity of choice of words, etc. To reinforce readers’ understanding and consistently remind them of the thematic focus of the text, Ajiboye employs a technique of paraphrasing to achieve conceptual restatement. What’s more, the interrogative structure of the title creates suspense, easily arouses and sustains readers’ interest while the outside front cover design radiates effective non-verbal communication.

Some errors of punctuation and interpretation are noticed in the text, e.g., “Executive Director Human Resources” (page 28), instead of “Executive Director, Human Resources”; “He is the AGS – Corporate Affairs of the BSN (page 28), instead of “He is the Assistant General Secretary, Corporate Affairs of the Bible Society of Nigeria”, etc.

On the whole, this text is a model of a high level of intellectual interface, reflecting perfect combination of human resource management and motivational forms of discourse. It is a must-read for all chief executives, entrepreneurs, junior workers, managers and corporate organisations that know the potency of harmony on productivity and profitability.

GOKE ILESANMI (FIIM, FIMC, CMC), CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is an International Platinum Columnist, Professional Public Speaker, Career Mgt Coach and Certified Mgt Consultant. He is also a Book Reviewer, Biographer and Editorial Consultant.

Tel: 08055068773; 08187499425

Email: gokeiles2010@gmail.com

Website: www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng

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