The Best of Bosses, The Worst of Bosses

Since moving to Cambridge, I've had a new boss.

And this guy is both the best and worst I've ever known. So demanding, but capable of great understanding, too.

Yep, you got it. The new boss is myself. And it's been fascinating finding out more about him. 

He can be mean to the extent that he sometimes leaves me groaning. For example - 

I'm teaching a course on how to deal with pressure in two weeks' time. It's one I've done before, and it went well enough. 

But the boss, being the guy he is, insisted I looked at it again, to see how it could be improved. 

And darn it, I found a few ways. Which meant, naturally, that the course had to be re-written.

For my new boss, it wasn't enough that it was good. It had to be very good, as good as it could possibly be. 

And no doubt next time I run the course, he'll want it re-written again, to make it even better. 

It's the same with an outreach and inspiration/aspiration session I'm running at a school in Rutland next month. 

I've done these events many times before, and they've always gone well. 

But - and you'll guess what's coming here - that's just not enough for him. 

He wants it revisited to make it even better. 

Some days - you know the sorts - you're not quite with it, and could do with taking it easy, but no, not with this man cracking the whip. 

He insists I'm up and at it. He's a 24-7 kind of guy. Full on, always wanting more, always wanting better. 

And do you know what? 

I love it. 

One of my resolutions on moving to Cambridge was to challenge myself, meet new people, learn new skills, and make a successful new life for myself. 

I wouldn't be very happily going about that without my new boss. 

And there's one more more side to him that I very much appreciate. He can be kind when he knows it's right - 


Niamh sat the last exam of her masters on Friday afternoon, and I was - to put it mildly - pacing back and forth like I was going to lay an egg. 

The boss recognised the signs of strain, realised I was getting nothing much done, acknowledged I'd worked hard this week, and let me off early. 

To head out, have a walk and a beer, and take my mind off my fretting. 

Which was good management, in a karma kind of way, as often happens with the best of bosses. 

Niamh phoned as I was getting myself settled in my favourite Cambridge pub, to say the exam went well.