10 March 2016
Just picture any mid-sized company. You have the boss, let’s call him Gregg. Gregg likes to give orders and he always thinks he knows best. Then you have Donald, who’s the sysadmin. Donald is conservative when it comes to changes. He tries to keep fads away from his systems, because he cares about their integrity and uptime.
Gregg constantly comes up with all sorts of ideas and then tries to get Donald to implement them. Occasionally, Donald actually likes the idea and goes to work right away. However, most of the time he think the idea is stupid. Gregg has to somehow make him work on it. He shames and guilts Donald who sometimes caves in. Only sometimes though. Other times he flips out and refuses to do what is asked. Gregg would get rid of Donald, but he can’t. Everything would crumble without him.
Right about now I can hear your blood boil. "That boss is terrible”, I hear you say. "That’s no way to treat an employee. You need to convince him that the idea is good. If you can’t, maybe you are wrong.”
I invite you to pause for a second. Realize that what you find unacceptable to do to others, you do to yourself every day. There is a part of you that is like Gregg and another like Donald. Your Gregg bosses your Donald around constantly. If Donald doesn’t do what was asked, Gregg makes him feel guilty or ashamed. You make yourself feel shame and guilt constantly and you’ve done it for so long that you’re an expert. You do it without thinking.