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Monday, July 27, 2009

The Rights of a Leader...Why Be a Boss?

We read and hear and talk about employee rights from time to time. There are patient rights (HIPAA - Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), too. Animals have rights. Shoot, I even saw dozens of web pages discussing whether dead people have rights.

Going back to employee rights, there are lots of them, especially in the Western world. Employees have the right to be treated fairly regarding any number of things like:

• Pay
• Hours
• Vacation
• Safety
• Taking care of their families
• Privacy
• Not to be harassed or discriminated against
All of these rights seem fair, don't they?

Well, what about managers or leaders? What rights do they have? Sure, they should have the same rights as any other employees, but do they have any rights that are specific or inherent to them as managers or leaders?

I can’t think of any…and I’ve been trying.

Certainly bosses have some level of power and that power allows them to do things like hire, fire, maybe promote, or discipline. But are these rights or responsibilities?

We’ve heard it said that rank has its privileges. What privileges are they…having nicer offices (they have a door instead of being stuck with the cube rats?), staying in nicer hotels on business trips, eating at fancier restaurants or getting paid more than their employees? Are these rights?

Is it all much ado about nothing? Should my post just go in the trash?

I’m just wondering because it makes me think being a manager or boss sure has a lot more responsibilities than it does perks.

Why are people bosses, then? Is it just for the money? Is it for the power, you know, getting to tell other people what to do? Does it make them feel special? Is it that, as I read in an article, it’s just a further expression of living a service-like life? Is it just better than having other people boss you around (although I’ve never met a boss who didn’t have another boss of his or her own in one way or another)?

Why do you think people choose to be bosses? And what rights do you think bosses have specific to them?


  1. Is it pretentious to believe one is called to be a leader?

  2. Not if you believe in callings, which I do, and if you believe it in a spirit of humility.

    It's just a very slippery slope.


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