The Golden Rule that Applies in Work

When we’re in kindergarten, we’re taught that the Golden Rule is to treat others the way you want to be treated. That is certainly a good rule to follow in life.

In business, the Golden Rule is: He who holds the gold, makes all the rules.

This is applied to all tiers of business.

As a company, you answer to your clients and customers. You listen to who hired your company for the project. As a general contractor, this could be a homeowner or a developer. The homeowner or developer is the one paying you for your services.

When you’re an employee, the one who holds the gold is your employer. They are the one cutting your checks. This means that depending where you are in the company hierarchy, you have to listen to everyone above you, if you are in the entry rungs of the company.

When you first start out, you may be inclined to listen to everyone who is your superior.

After all, they have all the experience.

But as you gain experience yourself and get more confident in your skills, you may realize that not everyone your senior is competent, or that they are not right all the time. After all, no one is right all the time. You may feel inclined to speak up.

Here’s the tricky part. You can speak up, but not all bosses listen.

In the best case, you may just get acknowledged for your input, but told to just do as you’re told, even if it is contrary to what you believe in. Worst case, you get written up for insubordination.

Most bosses like the “yes boss” mentality because that means their decisions are not questioned.

If you are an employee, you are getting paid for your work, but also for your mistakes. If you make a mistake, it is on your boss’s dime. Your lesson learned is paid for by your boss. If it is a severe mistake, you can lose your job. Your boss’s job, understandably, would be to try to minimize your mistakes. Sometimes that means that his decision will overrule yours to protect the best interests of his company, and reduce his liabilities.

Also, that means, that sucks. That means that ultimately, your boss’s decisions will override yours.

It’s best not to take it personally, and just follow orders as you’re told, because after all, he who holds the gold, makes all the rules.

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