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Bob, do you have any evidence about the impact of the crisis on the office politics as well? Do the bosses help their directs more to get better at politics in these tough times, be it only for getting more support in the workplace?

I am very interested in knowing your opinion, thanks a lot.

William Cunningham


I agree entirely with your post. I'd much rather work for a boss that demonstrates compassion and appreciation than a boss that is cold and mechanical. The emotional support from a good boss can help alleviate stress and satisfy basic human needs, leading to a stronger sense of dedication and duty. I strongly believe that people work harder, and thus produce more and better results, when they like their boss, and a cold dicision-making machine is hardly something I enjoy taking orders from. Thank you for your insight!

Casey O'Looney

Hi Bob,

Thank you for another great blog post. I agree that bosses should not be their employees friend. Just like we don't want parents who are more concerned with being their kids BFF than teaching and mentoring, we also don't want bosses who are more interested in being buddies than mentoring and grooming new professionals.

I recently accepted a new job and one of the biggest influencers wasn't the paycheck or the company name, but who I would be working for. Was it someone who would be an effective leader and teach me? Like the Paula Cole song, "Where have all the cowboys Gone?", many employees are wondering "Where have all the leaders gone?"

Mary Jo Asmus


You might be interested to know that the Center for Creative Leadership discovered that only one of the three FIRO-B (an assessment that measures expression and desire for inclusion, control, and affection) dimensions differentiated the top quartile of leaders from the bottom quartile. Many people might believe the popular assumption that those leaders who readily express control are the most effective. Indeed, this is not what CCL found in their study. Rather, the single factor that differentiated top leaders from those at the bottom was affection – how much a leader expresses it, as well as how much a leader wants affection.

Of course, I realize that wanting and expressing affection may not prevent a boss from being respectful or compassionate. However, I'd like to believe that chances are that if affection is important to them, they have learned to be respectful and compassionate.

Marie Wiere


Thank you for an interesting post. I was some what surprised by the article that questioned whether bosses were getting friendlier in this economy. In my experience, many bosses are becoming more complacent in this economy and not paying as much attention to how they treat their employees, assuming they are more replaceable than in the past.

I disagree with Alan Weiss' opinion and believe it's important for bosses to treat their employees with dignity and respect. Now is the time to build strong boss-employee relationships to better ensure your people don't leave once the economy picks up and their options increase.

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