Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, Leadership

The Ontology of Being an Employee

No employer today is independent of those about him. He cannot succeed alone, no matter how great his ability or capital. Business today is more than ever a question of cooperation. – Orison Swett Marden

serveOntology is the root of things in question, so when it comes to being an employee, is the root …

… to serve the ‘boss’ ?


… to serve the ‘business’?

Some may think this is not important or this is too obvious, but in fact, there are many tensions resulting from this unclear ontology in professional relationships.

Imagine an employee who focuses on ‘serving the boss’ and a colleague who wants to do the best ‘for the business’, what happens when they work together and face an obstacle?

Imagine a boss who focuses on ‘serving the boss’ and whose employee wants to ‘serve the business’, what happens when priorities collide?

Imagine an organization with a ‘serve the boss’ culture, and one who is a ‘serve the business’ professional, isolation and discomfort will set in.

Imagine the other way side where the organization has a ‘serve the business’ culture and one who is a ‘serve the boss’ professional, we all know what kind of reputation the latter will have.

Based on my research, at the end of the day, one is hired to use their skills and talents to serve the business under the direction of a boss, why? Because whenever there are more than two in a group,  one must emerge to be in charge, for it is human nature to seek someone in charge to more effectively move a group of people forward towards a common and clear goal.

So, being an employee is to serve the business and trust that their boss is there to also serve the business and hence, serving the boss becomes serving the business as long as you …

Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care. – Lou Holtz

especially when you and your boss don’t see eye to eye.

Image courtesy of Phaitoon /