Massimo Brebbia

Nov 14, 2020

4 min read

“Choose a good Boss, not a company”​ Really?

How many time we have read, better to look for a good boss rater than a good company?

I did stop thinking on the feasibility of the above and reached a few conclusions I want to share with you.

The first consideration, if this is real, it applies only for an elite and it is a condition limited in time.

To be able to choose your Boss you must be a C-Level Executive, only at that level you can deal and discuss with your boss and understand his real attitude. Very few people are going to rate their boss online openly and even if you have a good relationship with one or two employees of that company, it’s still a partial personal experience that can be perceived differently by others. Assuming that you’ve found a good boss, he probably wants to do a career, he may move to another company or retire. If you are an elected working with a good boss, chances are you can only enjoy it for a limited amount of time.

You are a Senior/Junior Manager, you mainly deal with HR or recruiters and maybe you will meet you line manager at the last round of interviews.

You can look for feedback, but it will be again only a person’s experience story, you can ask former employees, but they have resigned, terminated or retired. There is still value listening to their stories, but with a pinch of salt.

Bear in mind, also middle managers want to have a career and move up sooner rather than later, the same as above applies, you can enjoy a good boss only for a limited time.

If you are a junior, then everybody is your boss. As soon as you start to get a promotion you have a new boss, maybe you are assigned to another department where you are not familiar with the people. The value of choosing a good boss seems to get thinner and thinner over time. Don’t despair, obviously there is a solution for this. Keep reading

The truth is the boss attitude is almost irrelevant while choosing a job

What is relevant is the company culture, you have to research how the company behaved in the past, during crises, how many time has been acquired and management changed. No matter who is holding a power position, if the company values are solid, personnel will behave according. You may argue in a small organization owned by the Boss, this may not apply, but you’ll never have a full career in those organization because the management team never change, family business. There are very few instances where an owner steps down for an external candidate, unless the company has been acquired, then all of the above apply again.

Focus your search on identifying company values, their mission statement is telling you what to expect from the people actions and the company values the behaviour. In the last 25 years, I have been many people boss and I have had many bosses. The line manager has always been a temporary guide and never a constant.

Yes, it is nice to have a good boss, even if we should define what good means and how much authority the goodness can drive, but when the company has good values, bosses are good or let go.

We need to decide where we want to work, a corporate with 50.000 employees or a grocery with 5. This change a lot about what you are going to prioritize during the selection process.

If there is a thing I have understood over time, you must learn to deal with bad bosses.

Remember, when it said a company is done by people, it means employees of all levels. A boss is not a company, he is one man alone and he is possibly the most short term employee of all the organization. How many CEO can you recall with 35 years experience in the same organization? Exceptions always exist.