The Boss Is Always Right- Is It Right?

Is It Right To Say That The Boss Is Always Right?

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The statement, the boss is always right, is very common. People working in any organization under a manager or a superior hear this mantra very often. Whether boss is always right or he or she may be wrong sometimes depends on various factors. This article discusses how a boss is right shedding some light on the related aspects based on management principles and concepts and philosophy.

The corporate mantra that boss is always right is one of the commonest ones among working people and hardly might there have been people who may not have heard or overheard this statement. It's said there are two rules that should be accepted working under a boss. The rule no. 1 is the boss is always right. The rule number 2 states that if the boss is wrong, then, refer to the rule number 1. The fact is that a boss may not be right always, and what right is he remains as a boss with due respect and which goes all along having been considered as one of the interesting relationships in our professional lives.

However, there are some aspects relating to this statement as, boss is always right. Let’s discuss in the light of management principles and philosophy while referring management literature to the extent at which it suffices to know what may be surmised from facts.

The statement that boss is always right has something to do with the amount of experience, educational qualifications and insights that a boss has had. Similarly, it has a lot to do with the amount of experience and the level of insight of the subordinates. It must be noted that persons differ from each other in their construction of events and in terms of experience. Experience makes one wiser. It makes one perfect, and most importantly, it is the experience that makes who we are. It should thus be clear that a boss is a boss based on his experience and exposure and the insights that he gained. The same is manifested in his actions and activities. An experienced and competent boss is more likely to have practical understanding about the situations as well as the whole functioning state of a business in which a subordinate has lack of insights. Since a subordinate need not have the same insights as a boss has and neither does the position of a subordinate require having it. Hence, it may be rightly said that boss is right when it comes to considering his knowledge, insights, experience and exposure which are greater than subordinates and these aspects play a greater role to heighten the organization to a desired level.

Effectiveness and efficiency are two such terms in management literature that are of great value and importance. The significance of these terms lies in the fact that in the absence of effectiveness and efficiency, neither the performance can be measured appropriately nor are the business results attained in a way as wanted. Effectiveness implies dong right things or making right decisions at the right time, whereas efficiency indicates doing things rightly. Today’s managers are more likely to be described as effective, efficient and well-versed in ethical behavior in practices and managing the organizations. They are trained to maintain good management practices. They know what it takes to be an effective leader, such as, making self-assessment and assessing the team members, vision and goal setting, maintaining communication skills, motivation and being responsive to the group needs etc. Hence, for all these reasons the boss is always right if he has a strong grasp of management concepts and demonstrates conceptual skills at workplace effectively and efficiently leading for expected business results.

The boss is not right always, because a boss as a human being can make mistakes – to err is human. However, it should not be considered in isolation, rather, it must be understood that effective bosses do not make potential mistakes that are more visible. It’s true also that they have the power of concealing their own mistakes as well. On the other hand, Ethical leadership indicates that leaders admit their mistakes, as it’s a sign of strength, not weakness. The saying of F. Wilczek is worth mentioning at this point, “If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake.”

It is worth mentioning one of the sayings that is practical rather than philosophical,“A business succeeds not because it is long established or because it is big, but because there are men and women in it who live it, sleep it, dream it, and build great future plans for it." This points out to maintaining effective leadership styles and roles in organizations by utilizing appropriate powers. It thus must be noted that a boss is always right if he maintains right managerial style leading the peers motivating by examples with effectiveness and efficiency -not just with authority - developing such strategies that in turn may earn him great respect and good reputation among the team members.


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  • ashutoshd dwivedi  31-01-2015

    well,it depends on what are the decisions on various circumstances that the boss takes in.

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    • Joejoebull  31-01-2015

      made me laugh ! you described my boss he can always catch me out with something I do wrong .

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