I was surprised to read in the Globe that Guy Laurence had been turfed as Roger’s CEO but I wasn’t surprised about why. Apparently he had a rocky relationship with the Rogers family who still have control of the company Ted Rogers built.
I had heard from people inside Rogers that he was doing some great work, work that changed fundamentally how they did business and served the customer but that work would take a while to pay off.
While he may have been doing good work he apparently had a brash style and was disrespectful in his dealings with certain members of the Rogers family. In the end, it didn’t matter how good a job he was doing, it only mattered how his bosses felt.
People, (and engineers), you really have to take this one to heart. It doesn’t matter how well you think you’re doing your job. If your boss isn’t happy then you’re toast.
It’s this emotional intelligence thing rearing its ugly head again. We can curse Maya Angelou for saying “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” but we can’t get around it.
It’s a bitter pill to swallow, particularly for left-brained professionals but technical merit alone won’t help you get ahead at work. Having the right answer all the time doesn’t matter. Delivering expected results will only get you so far.
Ultimately, it only matters how your boss feels about your work. Yes, I know you have to deliver baseline results so you don’t get fired for being a complete write-off but beyond that, success doesn’t come from excellence, it comes from happiness, in this case, your boss’s.
Now I must confess that it took me over 30 years to learn this lesson myself and perhaps that’s why I haven’t had many bosses in my career.
So all of you lawyers, accountants, engineers, scientists and programmers out there, if you want a successful career, repeat after me: “My job is to make my boss happy.”