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One of the best storytellers in our present day is the Nigerian employee. Just start off a conversation about the weather and you might be swept away by the dam of tales that will come gushing out. Of course the lead character and chief antagonist is none other than ‘MY BOSS’. It makes me wonder, are Nigerian employers really as monstrous as they’re camouflaged? Maybe we should turn the searchlight  180 degrees to Captain Employee to see if they have the necessary cape to be so judgmental. Do You Go The Extra Mile? As an employee, it’s only normal to do exactly what you’re told. Most employees get upset with the boss (at least out of earshot) when they don’t get any commendation after they’ve carried out instructions to the letter. What you may not have realized is that Mr. Normal shares a fence with Mr. Invisible.  Regular can never be unique. Next time you are given a task at work, try doing more than is required or expected. That’s the street where Commendation often drives by. Just Surfing Free internet service has now become almost part and parcel of office perks.  Quite naturally, this is usually music to employees’ ears. However, as an employee, the power lies in your hands to decide whether this would also be music to your employer, or drums of horror.  So the big question is: What do you do online? When last did you Google to find out how to solve that problem that has been dragging the office back?  Why not increase your capacity and grow your brain? Intelligence is a fragrance that is very difficult to hide. And trust me; the boss will notice too. Pain or Pill? Ever heard the saying, “uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”? A major reason the crown is discomforting is the headache the leader faces trying to solve problems all day- and night. No employer or business owner is free of this ‘cross’- including your boss. So instead of being the next person to add to his/her headache, why not try being the cure? Next time you’re approaching your boss with a problem, try adding one or two possible solutions for him/her to pick from. Who doesn’t like results? Goody- Goody Those that were branded with this nickname in secondary school know this was not a feel-good reputation to have.  However, there are some aspects of being a goody-two-shoes that can never be overrated. One of them is integrity. Employers are crippling under the weight of dealing with issues ranging from petty lies, to outright theft. Why not be the one person they can trust? Integrity is a long term investment that keeps on paying, unlike the short-lived benefits of dodgy activities that leave a sour taste in the mouth. Besides, integrity adds another star to your crown of rarity. Criminal Records Some employees can verbally outline all the offences that their employers have committed- against them. Others would say they’re just waiting for that day they will resign to tell the boss off.  While rehearsing that venomous speech to make your boss cry, try saving a little space for commendation. Yes, you read right; commend for those things that were done well. Your boss can’t be all that bad. Better still, why wait for the resignation? Try commending today and see what happens. “When I’m My Own Boss…” This is a common phrase from employees. It’s immediately followed by an avalanche of things they would do better, if and when they start their own outfits. While building that power-packed establishment in your mind, just remember that rehearsals always precede the grand performance. Whether you realize it or not, your attitude towards your boss’ business will reflect in your own business. Why? Employer just threw out the last ‘e’ in Employee and replaced it with an ‘r’. It’s still the same old you and believe me, old habits die hard! In essence, as an employee you should answer the following question honestly. ‘If you owned a business, would you employ yourself?’

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This article was first published on 16th June 2017


Chioma Diru is a prolific writer, agricultural entrepreneur and life coach with a heart for children. Chioma works freelance for the BBC Media Action. Her work titled “The Twin Logs” was nominated for the Etisalat Flash Fiction Prize, 2016. She is Creative Director and Co-founder, Canuli Media which specializes in children’s entertainment. She is the author of “Sodality”, a children’s novel which you can buy here.Email her:

Comments (2)

2 thoughts on “How to Lead Your Boss”

  • The carefully selected words used in this text are thought provoking. “if you owned a business, would you employ yourself?”.
    Great read. Thank you

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