Youre Not the Boss of Me

How many times have you heard little kids say that? Where do they hear that phrase? And why is it so universal?.Maybe it's become somewhere in our human DNA, even as little kids, we want some level of independence in our lives. When we're toddlers, they (the former children who now are adults with poor memories) call that the "terrible twos" and just wait (im)patiently for us to "grow out of it." And then they domesticate us into believing that we should do what they tell us "because I'm the parent/teacher/authority figure.".Why is it so surprising that we have a certain level of defiance in our organizations? We've been trained throughout our lives that to speak our mind is somehow "wrong" or "bad" and we've been waiting all our lives with some pent-up resentment we don't even know about to say what we think.

And then we have a real boss who we fight because all we can remember is that time we said "You're not the boss of me" and got punished.Employees don't want to be told what they should do or have to do or must do. How does "boss-ship" work in our lives? That's the "do as I say because I'm the boss" mentality.Employees are not toddlers anymore, although some may act like it because they haven't yet realized that all their pent-up anger from their toddler years is still in there pent-up somewhere. They're still resisting and defying and sometimes even sabotaging those bosses - and often the bosses are reciprocating, and it becomes a drama of collusion. What we resist persists, and that causes even more anger and frustration.

The Gallup organization says that "employees leave supervisors, not companies" . but how often does that employee find another supervisor just like the one he/she left because "wherever you go, there you are"?.The only way to stop the game of collusion is to stop. And someone has to be the adult. We already know that it doesn't work to try to change someone else.

So when an adult chooses to stop playing the game, he or she does it to alter his or her OWN behavior, not someone else's.And now there's no game to play. When one side concedes, the game is over. If we as adults are still caught up in our childhood game of "king of the mountain," we will all lose.I'm not blaming anyone here - employees or bosses. In fact, blame is probably the most useless emotion there is.

But I am saying that in my experience, when things weren't working in my life the way I wanted them to, I got the best results when I looked in the mirror. When I realized that I'm not the boss of anyone but myself, that's where the magic began to happen.You don't have to be the boss to be the adult. What do you have to lose?.

.Jodee Bock is a life purpose and career coach, speaker, facilitator, and trainer.

She works together with people - individuals and teams - who want to practice "riskful" thinking as opposed to merely "wishful" thinking. Together Jodee and her clients co-create a roadmap that works backwards from what they would like to become and set up a plan to transform their knowledge into action.In addition to her coaching and facilitation, Jodee is available for keynote addresses, and develops and delivers customized workshops and seminars. She is a certified Job Relations trainer for manufacturing environments, and also a certified Accelerated Innovation trainer and coach with SolutionPeople (

Jodee is a co-author of the book "Don't Miss Your Boat," and her own book "The 100% Factor: Living Your Capacity" will be released this fall.For more information, check out her website at or her blog at http://youalreadyknowthisstuff.

By: Jodee Bock

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