Respecting Authority

Anyone who works has a boss.

You might consider yourself “your own boss.” But, chances are, you know your customers are your real bosses. Or, you may actually have a manager in your company who is responsible for being your boss. Generally, even if you work for yourself, you are always working for someone else. And those relationships are often a blessing and a curse – sometimes at the same time.

The good side of the coin is when you and the people you work for are headed in the same direction. Your goals are aligned and you have the same general vision of the future. The down side is when you reach a bump in the road – you disagree about how to do a project or how to implement a solution, and eventually, someone has to make an unpopular decision. You may be requested to do work you disagree with – perhaps not from a moral standpoint, but something you think would be better done another way. You may be forced to work with someone you don’t like or to take on tasks you dislike. Whatever the cause, sometimes dissension between you and your employer arises, and the question is no longer how good you are at your job, it’s how you handle that conflict.


How do you handle conflict and authority?

One thing you should try to remember is that, in reality, you are all on the same team. You work for the same company – or else, your client has hired your company for a particular reason – and you are in the same business. If you don’t understand that business, that is a problem in and of itself that you should actively try to remediate. But in general, remember: you are all working towards the success of your business so that you can achieve success for yourself as well.

This concept is often hard for entry-level workers to grasp. Typically, they are embroiled in so many layers between themselves and the general purpose of the company that it is almost impossible for them to see how what they do makes any kind of impact. That is why respect for a manager is so important. It may not seem possible to see how one individual can make a difference on a large company’s bottom line, but it is possible to grasp how several people working together can make a difference. The manager of your department heads such a team; you are part of it, and you can either butt heads with the people in charge or understand their goals and find a way to support them.

With SAP, it is often a bit easier to see how you impact a business in a very real way. You are often directly affecting operations by implementing and maintaining processes responsible for making that company successful – whether it’s client management resources for the sales and customer service teams, or fulfilling orders for products and services. You have the inherent understanding that each of these functions is responsible for making a business run; if something goes wrong within SAP to prevent that, then business doesn’t progress and your company loses time and money.

With that understanding in place, you can then see how important it is to view yourself as part of a company of employees working towards a common goal – productivity and, yes, profit. Your work and the work of your department can be part of that, or you can work against it. While you should be proud of your own individual accomplishments, you should also be aware of how you can contribute to your manager’s success – rather than viewing them as a competitor who might take credit for your work, recall that if your team and leader thrive, so will you. It’s therefore important to move past those times when conflict arises and respect your manager, team, and company as a whole.

Image courtesy of Crystian V. via creative commons


About the Author:

Pete has been working with SAP technologies for over 10 years. He started out as an ABAP consultant and then moved on to BW where he has worked many different clients covering a wide variety of industries. "I love introducing SAP technology (especially BI) to new clients and showing them how they can go from zero to hero within their business in super fast time". Contact me on twitter @PeterMoxon