Bob's Gutsy Leadership Blog

Greedy Vs. Humble: The Implications

Assume for a moment that you are the boss and two of your direct reports come to see you and say the following:

Employee A: this well-paid person describes what he believes are his great results, and they are very good, and pushes hard to get a big raise.

Employee B: this well paid person, who has similar results to Employee A, asks the boss: what am I doing well and more importantly, what are the areas where I need to improve.

I can tell you with certainty that bosses love type B employees. It makes the boss’s job so much easier. It can be difficult to convince a good-performing employee that they have improvement areas. We all have them. The type B employee wants to constantly improve and is clearly pushing for the success of the organization.

One reaction many bosses have to the type A employee is that it’s time to begin looking for a replacement. The employee is dissatisfied and may leave abruptly, creating a serious outage. Also, it appears that this person is primarily interested in themselves, not the success of the organization.

So…what is the learning?

1.) Think – How would you feel if you were the boss and were on the receiving end of the comments you are about to make?

2.) Threats have implications – Bosses tend to listen more carefully than you think. Nobody likes to be threatened, and your suggestion/complaint may come across as a warning that you are about to leave.

3.) Nobody is irreplaceable – we may think our contributions are huge, but there are a lot of talented people out there.

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