“Jim, I understand you called in sick yesterday,” the boss said.
He nodded. “That’s right.”
The boss smiled, reached into her desk, and took out the morning’s newspaper. Buried on the back page of the sports section was a photo of Jim, holding a third-place trophy in a local golf tournament that had been held the day before. “What do you have to say for yourself?” the boss asked.
Jim shrugged. “If I hadn’t been sick, I probably would have won.”
Your relationship with your boss is crucial in business. A good relationship with your boss is the foundation of a successful career. Your boss is the person most likely to recognize your contributions and achievements, and potentially recommend you for promotions. Why would you compromise that?
In Jim’s case, he demonstrated that he was dishonest, disrespectful, or both. His boss will have good reason not to trust him. Should he have been forthcoming about the reason for his absence? Absolutely, if he wants his boss to rely on him.
He should have asked for time off, used a vacation day or skipped the golf outing. Calling in sick was a gamble that didn’t pay off for him. And it will taint his relationship with his boss for a very long time.
Don’t try to be best friends. That’s not realistic or even wise. But you must be able to get along. Some conflicts may be inevitable, but most of the time you can stay on your manager’s good side by avoiding these simple workplace mistakes:
On the flip side, there are plenty of positive strategies that should be second nature in your business life. Don’t just save them for your boss. Treating co-workers as well as you treat your boss will demonstrate that you are not just playing office politics.
Mackay’s Moral: Whether you’re at the top of the heap or the bottom of the ladder, you will always have someone to answer to.
Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.
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