How Many Bosses Can You Really Have?

I was talking to my friend the other day about a work issue she had and she asked what I thought the next step should be.  I asked if she’d spoken with her boss to which she replied, “Which one?”

“The one you actually answer directly to,” was my response. 

This raises an interesting question: How Many Bosses Can You Really Have?

I have seen many companies with chain-of-command issues.  Their structure made it impossible to answer to just 1 person.  So, what the employee must do is try to answer to, meet the expectations of, and please multiple bosses.  Our industry is no different.  Administrators answer to regional directors but also to the rest of the regional team in one sense or another.  DONs answer to the administrator but also to the regional clinical consultant and regional director (especially if they’re also a nurse).  Marketing Directors answer to the administrator but also to the regional marketing consultant.

Does this make any sense?  Absolutely not.  Consultants should be consultants.  Administrators should run their buildings and corporate should get a clue on how to structure a company.  It borders on idiocy.  Other industries fall into the same boat, though.  You’ll have salesmen answer to the operations director but also the VP of sales, etc.  And on it goes.  

A man cannot serve 2 masters.  An employee cannot serve 2 bosses.  If you do, then you cannot give your best to both and you’re probably not meeting the expectations of one of them.

How many bosses can you really have?  Just one.

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