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I've been told that I should treat my boss as a client, and speak and deal with him as such, so that you treat yourself as a manager for hire and you're doing all you can to meet your clients needs.

Is this healthy, and are there obvious drawbacks I'm not seeing here.

Brian Reynolds's picture

As the old saying goes, "You can't work for two masters". Although in theory I suppose this works, on some level I imagine that NOT thinking of yourself primarily as a member of the team will have an impact.

pucciot's picture

This view, that we are all just contractors and our bosses are clients can be a helpful way of looking at things.

This view has helped me get through a few tough Mondays especially in my early career.

It is also similar to the advice I once got that said our primary job is to keep the boss happy.
Also helpful on some level when we need to cling on a simple idea just to get through the day.

These views, however, are a bit simplistic and immature for a professional and certainly a manager.

When you are an employee, and certainly a manager, there is an unwritten contract with the employer that goes further than just keeping the boss happy and doing your job.

The concepts must also include, "Working for the good of the Organization". and "Being a good internal and external representative for the Organization"

And when you are a manager your "ARE" the company. There is no way around this.

These Podcasts may get you in the frame of mind :

Professional Subordination- Part 1 & 2
https://www.manager-tools.com/mtsearch/podcast_item/node/139855

Welcome To They- Professional Subordination- Chapter 2- Part 1
https://www.manager-tools.com/2014/09/welcome-they-professional-subordin...

Welcome To They- Professional Subordination- Chapter 2- Part 2
https://www.manager-tools.com/2014/09/welcome-they-professional-subordin...

This might also help :

Leading Change: The Ore Cart- Chapter 1
https://www.manager-tools.com/2015/06/leading-change-ore-cart-chapter-1

----

So sure - when you are having a bad day - if you need a simple concept to hold onto then use the whole ---" I'm working for myself and my family - and just trying to get a paycheck."

AND when the smoke clears up a bit, grow-up and find greater motivation and satisfaction from being more professional.

Good Luck.

TJPuccio

mjpeterson's picture

I like the concept of considering yourself a freelance manager for a couple of reasons.  

  • It keeps you on your toes.  If you think about your relationship to the company and your boss this way it will keep you from getting complacent or comfortable.  Contractors get replaced.
  • It makes you think about how you are bringing value to the company and if the value you bring is worth what you are being paid.  If it is not, you should be concerned.  Conversely, if you are bringing a ton of value it may help you to justify better compensation.  
  • It keeps you professional.  A consultant isn't going to whine to his customer about his issues or family life. 
  • Unless you are in a union, or actually have an employment contract, and work in an at-will state, you can be let go at any time with almost no recourse.   
  • Both the results and the relationship are important to a consultant.  A consultant without one or the other will not have much work after a while. 

However, you could take this approach too far as well.  I like to use this thinking as more a way of checking up on myself and holding myself accountable than actually as a way to approach my day to day duties. 

I like the concept of considering yourself a freelance manager for a couple of reasons.  

  • It keeps you on your toes.  If you think about your relationship to the company and your boss this way it will keep you from getting complacent or comfortable.  Contractors get replaced.
  • It makes you think about how you are bringing value to the company and if the value you bring is worth what you are being paid.  If it is not, you should be concerned.  Conversely, if you are bringing a ton of value it may help you to justify better compensation.  
  • It keeps you professional.  A consultant isn't going to whine to his customer about his issues or family life. 
  • Unless you are in a union, or actually have an employment contract, and work in an at-will state, you can be let go at any time with almost no recourse.   
  • Both the results and the relationship are important to a consultant.  A consultant without one or the other will not have much work after a while. 

 

Kevin1's picture

So why ask if you've already made up your mind?