The Making of a Boss

by Segun Akinyode

My lecturers at the University drummed it into my porous brain that the difference between a boss and a leader is as wide and divergent as the distance between Lagos and Lake Chad; they also taught me that the differences are discernible and quantifiable through a careful analysis of the styles of adjudicating exhibited by these entities. My understanding of my teachers’ precepting did not go beyond the usual cynicism of a naughty pupil. After all, both terms can be used synonymously. Not until I passed through the demanding life of a youth corper in Sokoto into the tasking existence of a wage earner, was I able to map a distinction between the susceptibilities of these two ‘Ogas.’ The forum for the mapping was not palatable either. This is because I was only afforded the opportunity of witnessing one side of the divide — the boss. My crude imaginative prowess only then rose to the painful challenge of informing me about the other side of the coin. It was then I mused: once one is able to discern what something is, what that thing is not should be crystal clear.

Being a boss is very simple. The first step is to garner every conceivable and inconceivable subterfuges, including blackmail, ethnicism, praise-singing, name-calling, tale bearing, bootlicking, laying claim to bogus intellectual achievements to attract the attention and convince the powers that be that you are capable of bossing. Surely, you would be picked for appointment into the office of the first among equals. From the very first day you assume office, surround yourself with sycophants and refuse to read between the lines. Above all, take a cue from the inmates of either Aro or Yaba psychiatrist hospital by being paranoid.

The fallout of these preparatory steps should lead to appointive elimination of the notables within the organization. In their place choose blockheads, minions, and apologists into sensitive positions as a further proof of your qualification as the Chief Executive. That is not all. Seize every opportunity to intimidate the collective-bargaining bodies in your establishment by writing letters, warning them of impending catastrophes, as a result of discharging their responsibilities.

The second step is to be calculative. Pay regular visit to your local marabout to fortify you with talisman capable of clairvoyance. Then, during crises or once the charm detects a looming crisis, or your olfactory sense senses impending trouble, abscond from your constituency under one flimsy excuse or the other. Do not forget to delegate authority to one or more of your lackeys. But do not stay away for too long; make interval return-to-base visits, lampoon and lambaste the hapless surrogate and off you go again. Never allow anyone within the organization to exercise the power to release a kobo except you. Ensure the departments or sections appreciate your worth by co-opting the co-optables into decision making bodies without actually allowing them to take any decisive actions. I am sure the Queen would send a Lord Emeritus to knight you for furthering the divide and rule policy.

To the already cowed subordinates, pour a little salt on their bruised ego by treating their demands with utmost levity, their plea for equity with disdain and, describe their cry for comfort as hard lining. Seal their hope by instructing your hack writers to prepare queries for every public announcement made by the subordinates. That is not the end of the ploy. Pay a visit to the experts in the field of economic deprivation, imbibe their theories and practicalize them. Surely, your encounter with these experts and the wisdom acquired from them should combine to lead you to exhume the documents that spell out the quantity of responsibility your subordinates should discharge. For the sake of all that is holy, shun every instinct of the unrealistic nature of such work-load. Now, invoke the content of the document and ensure that those of your operatives who are not in position to execute the required quantity of responsibility (ignore the fact that it was not the making of some of them) are made to work extra hours without being paid for such hours, of course. This prodigious supervisory calculation will ensure that you conserve enough funds to perpetuate hedonistic living which is the next stage in the plot.

You should live the life of a rich spoilt child. All the state-of-the-art gadgets are the best for you. When you are on official and personal assignments, collect as many thousands of the local currency as possible. Please, do not forget to have one of the daughters of Eve in tow. After all, what is the use of a portfolio full of naira without a hairy bank as safe? There is one problem you are likely to contend with, though. The people whom you administer are bound to raise eye brows and some may even question the legality of your decisions. Don’t blame them; there is an antidote. At every meeting, if you ever convene one, shout them down, call them all sorts of unprinted names, if you are that way inclined, load them with enough assignments to occupy their curiosity. However, if they still have time to complain about your style, threaten them with removal. I am sure they will toe the line of reason.

Lest I forget, engage in issuing verbal directives involving the release of expensive equipments in charge of your sectional heads to execute projects in which you have vested interest. If they refuse to comply, hound them, browbeat them, if they are still obstinate, trump up some trivial charges against them and relieve them of their appointment. In their stead, place a trusted but unqualified tribesman. Talking about tribes, whip up tribal sentiments from time to time in appropriate quarters. Visit your tribal Lord and let him understand the relevance of your office. Make him realize it is the turn of your tribe to head the organization. Keep replenishing the visit because you might need him when things get really hectic. To ensure that he sees reason with you, dole out thousands of your local currency to him on each visit. The fact is, our tribal Lords need the money to maintain their harem.

If your organization is charged with the responsibility of processing raw materials to man the machinery of national development, then you are in bread. How? Simple. Usurp the responsibility of the section charged with evaluating the worthiness of the raw materials. Next, assess the eagerness of the raw materials at acquiring knowledge. If they are really thirsty for knowledge, charge them a few notes in local currency, a few more in hard currency and smile to your bank. Those of the materials who are unable to scale the hurdle of the qualifying process should be sirens whose admission into your factory must be processed in a hotel room. Think of it, you have achieved quit a number of ends with your phenomenal maneuvers: rendering a section of your organization redundant, making some bread in addition to your salary, enjoying the freshness of cool blood, and since you are the overall controller, nobody is wiser. Is it not sweet to be the boss?

Now that the raw materials are ready to commence the process of being processed, it is pertinent to extend some of the measures you took against the processors to them, if only to make them feel the weight of your reasonability. If, for instance, they demand for certain rights and in the process of the agitation that characterize the demand, some of them touch your flowing gown, go home and spend sleepless nights reading through documents that spell out your executive prerogatives. Rush to your office the following day, suspend the forum of their collective bargaining, shut down your organization, to cap it all, place their leaders on suspension. This should teach the raw materials some lesson in decorum and assure them that you have thoroughly digested the content of the document. Do not tarry to call your chief image maker and instruct him to write and publish a trash ju

stifying your closure of your organization. He might choose a topic like BEHINDE THE CLOSURE OF THE ORGANISATION….. After all is PR not tantamount to glossing over the jejune reasoning of the boss?

While grappling with the effrontery of the raw materials, do not forget that your operatives are watching the sordid drama with keen interest; you should be prepared to compete with them, as they are sure to raise objections to your illiberal tendencies. If they all belong to one body, all well and good. However, if you have the unfortunate luck of their being dichotomized into dependent and independent categories, then, you have a serious trouble on your hands. For clarity sake let me explicate the terms: the independent category is the ‘thinking machine.’ This group is rigorous, critical and unassuming; that is the nature of their calling. A few queries may silence the dependent category because the body is made up of humble and meek but not stupid individuals. However, if the two categories have the sensibility of joining forces to challenge your chief execuvitism, do two things in a hurry: pack your bags and baggage but do not go yet. You may need to apply the following tricks to counter their compactness.

They are likely to compile your atrocities and forward the document to the powers that actualize you. If they do, simulate a journey and tell them that you are the boss. Delegate the authority of dialogue to some of your stooges. Your ultimate is to foot drag so as to cool the temper of the operatives or to make your stooges compromise so that when you return from your purported journey, you can heap the blame of failure on the stand-in’s head; both ways you are still the winner!

However, if the operatives fail to dialogue with your stand-in and their temper remain constantly boiling, visit your contemporaries who are in similar positions and executing comparable style, I am sure they will avail you of their libraries. Pack some books from the libraries. While digesting the content of the books, ask your driver to chauffeur you to the palace of your tribal Lord. Blackmail him into intervening on your behalf. At least he has collected naira from you; now is the time to sweat for the money. If these tricks fail to perform the miracle, your marabouts may be contacted. If they fail, then pile your belongings on your head and step aside. Chikena

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