All Bosses Are Not Created Equal
April 9, 2013
I hear this a lot: "My boss does not listen and doesn't understand. He just rants whenever I come up with an idea and discards it without giving it any real consideration."
My advice: Don't be distracted by the emotional display but focus on the message. Tolerance and controlling your emotions are the keys. Do not let someone raising their voice throw you off your game. Early in my career, between radio jobs, I sold cars. Much of what I learned from the experience helped my career. It taught me that if someone is strongly arguing over an issue but stays in the room, we've got a deal. It is a matter of finding common ground and working out the particulars.
A great example to further explain is the movie "Mobsters" with Christian Slater as Lucky Luciano and Anthony Quinn playing a mob boss. There is a face-to-face scene between the two with Slater agreeing to become a part of Quinn's crime family. However, part of the proposed agreement did not include the mob boss getting a share of Slater's booze business for certain period of time. This outraged Quinn's character, and with a swipe of an arm he knocked everything off his desk, yelled at Slater, and then embraced him to welcome him into the family. I suggest you go to the nearest Redbox and rent the movie.
Radio is no different than other jobs; you will come across bosses, co-workers and clients with a variety of leadership styles. Some will not fit with your moral code, but do not let that stop you from learning. The yeller type might become the best business friend you ever had, or the quiet soft-spoken boss, the biggest back stabber. The point is, don't look for yourself in others and listen to the message, not the occasional theatrics. Stay in control of any situation, never rise up to the appearance of anger, or let your guard down for the "I'm your buddy approach." Be a realistic and stay in control of yourself; no one can make you angry unless you allow it.
Tell People What You Want
If you do not tell your boss what you want, he or she cannot read your mind. You have to put yourself in a position to achieve. Do not fall into the mindset of, "Others should recognize my awesomeness and automatically give me a promotion or job." Some in positions of power have the ability to recognize potential and act accordingly.
Realistically, employers and managers are not psychics; they need to know your desires or thoughts. If you do not apply, are they supposed to guess? Want a chance to program or do afternoons? Tell the decision-maker.
As I mentioned earlier, I once sold cars and for whatever reason, the general manager of the dealership took a liking to me. He always stressed in meetings to not beat around the bush with buyers, verbally qualify them quickly with simple questions, get a commitment of any sort even if it's lunch, and above all, ask, "If a deal can be made today, will you buy a car?" The GM would say, "They will either say yes or no, and maybes are polite no's."
I put his words to the test and would daily ask for a hot car on the lot for my personal use. He always said yes to the annoyance of the other salespersons. Then one day at our sales meeting, he was asked why I always got to take home whatever car I wanted; he told them "Because he asks." It was a valuable lesson and I have passed it on to others ever since. Tell people what you want and give someone the chance to say yes or no.