What Makes A Good Boss And A Bad Boss In Podiatric Practices?

Lynn Homisak PRT

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with two good DPM “bosses” but not every employee is as lucky as I was.

I have experienced the good and seen the bad. The latter of these demand perfection as opposed to excellence and make minimal (if any) attempts to communicate. They are inflexible, apathetic and insist on “managing” with power and control instead of guidance and leadership. Then they wonder why they have a revolving door of staff. Instead of looking inward to discover why they cannot retain quality employees, these podiatrists maintain, “Good staff are hard to find in our area.” Yet, it is funny how another podiatrist six blocks down has no trouble hiring a team of efficient people who want to work.

Just for fun, I started thinking of some of the more familiar “good and bad boss” role models that we have been exposed to on TV and in the movies. The good ones, like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life and Sheriff Andy Taylor in The Andy Griffith Show, make you smile. Who could forget Jack Warden’s character in Big, who spiritedly danced with his employee (played by Tom Hanks) on the oversized floor piano? Who wouldn’t want to work for a DPM like him who encourages fun and builds mutual respect at the same time?

We can describe “bad” bosses in a variety of ways — intolerable, mean, slimy, clueless. Those who immediately come to mind are the pre-enlightened Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Dabney Coleman as Franklin Hart in Nine to Five and perhaps the most obnoxious space cadet boss, Bill Lumbergh, in the classic Office Space (“Yeeaahhhh, thaaaannnks.”). Of course, we all know that bad bosses are not gender specific. The characters played by Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada and Sigourney Weaver in Working Girl respectively proved that power trips are equally vile whether delivered by male or female.

I have only scratched the surface here. What other on-screen “good and/or bad” bosses can you think of? How have the behaviors/personalities demonstrated by these individuals affected their workplaces? What lessons can we learn from them in our podiatric practices?

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