Monday, November 23, 2009

What is it about employers?

The so-called human condition is certifiably complex when individuals become...well, employers. I think it has to do primarily with the 'side-effects' of power. When one works for oneself, the transactions between customer and business owner aren't as complex. The owner has a product or service for sale and the customer has a decision to make to part with money in exchange for that product or service. It's not exactly black or white, but it's relatively simple. Not as clear are the choices confronting employer and employee and even more complex when the employer isn't a person, but an organization.

As an employer, the healthiness of one's ego is crucial to the process of leading others. We talk about supervising, managing and directing in sort of a hierarchical way. A supervisor has direct responsibility for another person's work. A manager describes one with responsibility for more than one supervisor. Finally, directors are responsible for multiple managers, and so on to vice-presidents and presidents and/or CEO's. Complex stuff that seldom works smoothly because the probability of the misuse of power increases with 'rank' in the organization.

Suffice it to say in this post which is one of several to come, that power corrupts. Skip the rest that absolute power corrupts absolutely. I think it's truly a blessing for most of us that so much of our goods and services are made available to us by small businesses where one on one relationships are most common. To lead a team of individuals each of whom is in business for themselves is almost ideal. Power is just not as big a deal and people interact more humanely. Be well!


  1. I love being self employed! Autonomy beats all!!

  2. Thanks, Maestro! Your testimony inspires!!