Being a boss and doing what's right


Being a boss at a company is hard. Often there are constraints beyond your control that make it hard to keep people happy.

So when my wife and I hired a nanny last April, for the first time I could be a boss without those typical constraints.

Recently we discussed our nanny’s annual review. Compensation and time off were the key topics, and we went back and forth on those for weeks.

We researched standards and averages in our area. We asked friends what they were doing. We wondered if we were giving too much time off. All in the pursuit of being “fair”.

It turns out we were asking the wrong questions. There was a far better, simpler question to ask.

What’s the right thing for us to do?

Once we thought about it that way, we answered everything in an hour.

We put aside standards, averages, and percentages. We stopped thinking about what other people were doing. We avoided moving toward the middle.

All we had to do was focus on doing what was right – being honest, generous, and considering her happiness.

After all, she watches our children for 40 hours a week. She’s fantastic in all aspects of her job, loves our children, and they love her back. Why would we ever want to be just fair? We should strive to be great.

In the end we did what was right, and we’re all happier for it.