As stupid as this sounds, it’s National Boss’s Day in the US and Canada. But, you may ask, isn’t every day your boss’s Day? Technically yes. But today is that one special day when you can express your gratitude openly…and maybe score some extra points. But, of course, it isn’t about that. If you don’t have this holiday in your country, you should lobby for it—maybe even make it a day off!
For architects, National Boss’s Day means celebrating the good work done by your principals, thanking them for their leadership excellence. After all, in this economy, principals are having a hard time and are under a lot of stress. You may have noticed them age, much like Obama has in the last two years.
Times like these really test a principal’s skills, from business to interpersonal, from financial strategy to design. In this economic climate, the good principals are quickly separated from those who merely got the position because they were around longer than anyone else.
So even though you already give 200% and put in all those overtime hours, you can still do something to make your boss’s day a little better. Next time you see your boss—which could be a long time from now because s/he is probably flying all over the place trying to get projects—give a thumbs up. Or, email a thumbs up. “Like” them on the firm Facebook page—if you have one. Let them know you appreciate what they’re doing. Tell them it will be OK. We’ll get through this. Because while not all principals may be deserving of recognition on this special day, some are. The list below features some of those outstanding qualities:
- Has communicated openly and transparently about economic challenges, rather than simply expressing false optimism.
- Puts in extra hours alongside staff.
- Has not resorted to merely yelling at staff or overworking them.
- Has furloughed him or her-self on a greater scale in relation to staff.
- Has effectively utilized the talent pool in the office.
- Has sought consultants on how to run a business if needed.
- Has implemented thoughtful cost-saving measures without just resorting to layoffs.
- Has maintained an open-door policy with staff.
- Has interacted with staff in informal settings to build fellowship.
- Maintains an open and transparent communicative style with all personnel.
If your principals have exhibited some or all of these qualities, they should definitely get the thumbs up.
The Indicator, a weekly column focusing on the culture, business and economics of architecture, is written by Guy Horton. The opinions expressed in The Indicator are Guy Horton’s alone and do not represent those of ArchDaily and it’s affiliates. Based in Los Angeles, he is a frequent contributor to Architectural Record, The Architect’s Newspaper and other publications. He also writes on architecture for The Huffington Post.