Very early in the morning this other day, I went jogging as has been my habit for a while. For the first time, I was going to be home in a record time. But just as I was about to turn the corner towards my house, a modern KIA Sportage pulled right in front of me. It was an old time friend, but now a very high-ranking police officer. He pulled down the passenger window to greet me. I almost told him to allow me reach home first so I can beat my set clock time and come back to greet him. But being the Malawian that I am, I stopped in my tracks and smiled widely at him.
You see, this police officer does not have much education to show but I have known him to be so humble, caring, job-loving and loyal to his bosses. The first time we met, he was simply a sub-inspector. But this time he was a whole deputy commissioner of police.
I clearly remember one incident when I was staying with my brother at the National Police Headquarters (Area 30). In our neighbourhood, one of the senior officer’s son got really sick in the night. Our caring police friend literally ran around as if it were his own child—offering to even be guardian at the hospital and yet this was not even his direct boss.
What’s more? When others talk ill about their bosses, he would always be defending them if he could; otherwise, he would keep quiet. He was regular at the Senior Officers Mess, but he would never come there if he was on duty, he would make sure he did his job first. Every time we met, he would want to learn more about the economy, current affairs, and motivational books. He loathed discussing people for their own sake. I found him simply to have an impressive attitude and demeanour.
Every time a senior police officer came around to the Mess, he would be the first to jump to his feet and offer a salute. Sometimes I was left with the impression that he was simply a boot-licker. But if he was, then he was a visionary one, because today he is no ordinary man. Interestingly, he has never changed his attributes even as a senior police officer; so loyal to his bosses, hardworking and humble.
You see, certain virtues matter so much in life. They will take one so far in their career path. One important virtue is maintaining a good rapport with your boss. Sometimes we have co-workers that will tell bosses off or indeed gossip about them. Never join the bandwagon. You could be digging your career grave. Instead, always understand your bosses and their management styles—fit in them—there can only be one boss at a time. Remember, your co-workers and friends can rally around you in telling your boss off, but when you go home, you are alone. Your career path is largely determined by your boss. This is not to say you bow down to non-professional demands by your boss, but keeping a good rapport with your boss can make a huge difference in your career growth. They can help you rise through promotions and through offering you opportunities to grow.
Yes, co-workers and friends do matter, but be mindful of co-workers who have sour relationships with the boss. You could, unknowingly, be dragged into fighting your co-workers’ battles. Don’t fall into the trap—mudzaferazaeni (you will lose out on a battle that was never yours).
Why should you watch as others get promoted right under your nose when you are equally good? Give out your best as per your job description and understand your boss’ vision—so long as it is also in line with the organisation’s vision. Support him/her fully and they will surely notice. Loyalty to your seniors’ vision does count! You will surely be rewarded. If your boss can’t appreciate your efforts, gossiping about them is not the way, instead meet them in person and explain yourself out. It could be that you are operating on different wavelengths.
Have a blessed weekend as you plan to build a good and professional rapport with your boss. n