After Becoming a Boss Does Work Become Less Pleasant?

Published July 14th, 2019 - 08:30 GMT
you really are forced to say, do I enjoy this?, am I good at this?, should I get someone else to do it?"
You really are forced to say, do I enjoy this?, am I good at this?, should I get someone else to do it?" (Shutterstock)
Highlights
Even as they climb the corporate hierarchy, good bosses learn to delegate the routine and enjoy doing what made them successful in the first place.

The corporate world is a funny place. If you're really good at something, they'll reward you by taking it away from you. They'll make you your boss - say you're an accountant who's great at keeping books.


Now if you do so without any errors for a reasonable amount of time, the organisation will then promote you to the position of chief accountant, a job that will no longer entail keeping books but, instead, managing people who keep books.

A good reporter will eventually find herself elevated to the position of a bureau chief with the responsibility of assigning reports to other journalists and a great lawyer often finds themselves spending an increasing amount of time away from the courtroom. This is what Bill Gates had to say recently when asked about his transition from a coder to managing the operations and growth of Microsoft Corp: "Over time, as you're writing less code and you're hiring people who write code and then you're hiring people who manage people who write code. you really are forced to say, do I enjoy this?, am I good at this?, should I get someone else to do it?"

The traditional corporate reward structure is built in a way that mandates that you get to manage others and sign a tonne of paperwork every day as a sort of perk of your ascendancy in the organisational hierarchy, whether or not you're cut out for it.

To see through the fancy titles being doled out nowadays (I once received a visiting card that had 'Chief Amazement Officer' emblazoned across it in golden lettering), the HR manager judges your organisational clout by simply asking how many individuals report to you. But does it really have to be this way? There is no good reason for a brilliant brain surgeon to not be in an OT, or a good teacher to not be in a classroom.

Even as they climb the corporate hierarchy, good bosses learn to delegate the routine and enjoy doing what made them successful in the first place. That makes the corporate world less funny and more fun.


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