undercover boss

Undercover Boss

I love the TV show, Undercover Boss because it gives us a chance to see people as they really are.   Unaware that they are being assessed by the boss, the staff get on with everyday tasks, usually training the company’s CEO (incognito) as they go along.   I always find myself asking, what would my boss say at the end of a day with me?

I laugh when I see the CEOs struggling to do basic menial tasks, but I also admire them for making the effort to find out what life is like working in the frontline of their organisation. It is easy to sit behind a big desk, in an ivory tower and judge poor results on a leader board without totally understanding the obstacles and challenges.

How many of us stay in our comfort zone at work and in our life in general?

Often the CEO is pleasantly surprised by the energy and effort that some staff members put into their jobs. I find it refreshing to see so many people who genuinely love their work. They truly believe that they are making a difference. They are grateful to be employed. Most of them have finance and family commitments and are determined to do their best for the next generation. For me this so inspiring and after each episode I find myself questioning my own levels of commitment and gratitude.

When do you question your own levels of commitment and gratitude?

It doesn’t take long to suss out the individuals who are dissatisfied. They cause unrest and use their little bit of authority to push others around. Their negativity spreads like wild fire and their frustration is highlighted by their disgruntled attitude towards everything. These people are usually the ones who lack inner confidence and are unhappy with themselves, although they would never admit it, they cover their true feelings with false bravado.

The bosses spend lavishly, to thank the people who are put in the effort and make a positive difference.

A lesson to learn from this program is
‘the more you give, the more you get.’

In a way it’s a shame that it takes dressing up in disguise for CEOs to see their ‘real’ staff. How many of us live our lives in disguise? Pretending to be someone we are not, pretending that everything is alright when it is not, harbouring resentment towards others, sabotaging colleagues and even ourselves. The CEOs want to reward hard work and dedication. Most of the people they reward are being themselves, love what they do and are considerate towards colleagues and customers. We recognize them as ‘good’ people. Do others recognize us as ‘good’ people?

Are we Human “Doings” or Human Beings?

When did we stop seeing one another as human beings and start ordering others around like human doings (I want you to do that!).  Take a moment to be real, calm and nurturing, not only to those around you but also to yourself.

Everyone complains about Corporate, maybe you are part of that corporate image.

Lots of people moan about Church, maybe you are part of that Church group.

Many mums can feel excluded at the school gate, maybe you are one of those mums

Undercover boss is not just a TV show, it’s REAL LIFE, so lets get REAL. Throw away your mask, come out from under your disguise, admit your failures and move on, apologise and move on, welcome others and move on. Life is all about relationships and relationships are two-way. Whether at home or work, we all want to be appreciated, valued and understood and like the successful staff in undercover boss, to achieve this we need to value and understand others first.

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Anne McKeown