Eight invaluable life lessons I learned from my bosses.



Every person you meet in your life has something to teach you. Given the vast amount of time we spend in our jobs, we can be damn sure that not once, but many times we’ve come across important life lessons. Might just not have paid attention at that moment 🙂


Here are 8 invaluable lessons I discovered when looking back 9 years and 7 bosses:

  1. There is strength in serenity. There is power in inner peace.
  2. Accept that things will go wrong, prepare for it to be able to face it and let go of the worry.
  3. Ask for forgiveness not for permission
  4. Believe in your ability to figure things out.
  5. Stay true to your values
  6. You can only flourish in the right environment.
  7. Life is not fair, don’t waste your time seeking fairness
  8. Always aim to make people feel good about themselves


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Hi, everybody. It’s Tasso.


Yes, you read that right, Life Lessons from Your Bosses. Can you believe that?


But, mentors are everywhere. In fact, every person you meet in your life has something to teach you.

Every person teaches you

For a very long time I thought that I need to be discovered. That someone will come along the way and become my mentor and teach me everything I need to know.


But as with many other things in my life, I was wrong here as well. Because it is YOU who need to watch out for the mentor, it is YOU who need to seek for advice.


And here’s another thing, very often you don’t recognize these lessons immediately, because you’re stubborn and you’re focusing on the things that you think matter at the very moment. But life has you covered and so you can always go back, reflect back and take those lessons, retrospectively.


In the nine years I’ve been working in the company, I had seven bosses. Not really something that is unusual. And these seven bosses taught me many, many things. I collected the eight major lessons that they told me and I wanted to share those with you. I hope they’re going to be helpful.


Lesson number one:

Strength lies in serenity. There is power in inner peace. I had a boss…nothing really could rock his boat. He was very calm in very challenging situations and this allowed him to come up with solutions in any given time, in any stressful situation. I always aspire to be like this, because I want to tap into this resource of power, when you stay calm in difficult situations.

inner peace

Lesson number two:

Accept that things will go wrong. Bad things will happen. You accept it, you prepare for it. You don’t prepare for it in a way that you try to avoid it, but you prepare for it to face it and then you let go.


It’s all about those worries that we constantly have about things that can happen, things that can go wrong. I learned a very good lesson, that at some point of time, you just need to accept that bad things will happen and you need to move forward.

Accept that things will go wrong

Lesson number three:

Ask for forgiveness not for permission. A very, very important lesson in life, in particular in the corporate environment. This lesson is about you moving forward your agenda. It’s about daring to take initiative.

It’s about not waiting for other people to confirm you, to tell you that you’re okay or to tell you what you need to do, but YOU moving forward. Not being afraid of the consequences, because, guess what? Most of the times, when you take initiative and you move forward, what ends up happening is that these people join you on your journey. You prove to them that you did the right thing and even if they were doubting in the beginning, they are okay to follow you.

forgiveness not permission


Lesson number four:

Lesson number four is an incredibly important lesson for me in terms of personal development, in terms of belief system and mindset.


We were discussing with a boss around her career actually, and about what she thought her options were moving forward and we discussed how she felt. Whether she felt comfortable or not.


She told me something that I still hold very close to my heart and it guides me throughout my days. She said that she believes she can do anything. As simple as it sounds, it is the essence of all self-esteem, self-worth and believing in yourself. No matter whatever comes in your way, you need to believe in yourself and you need to believe that you can figure things out. That you have the knowledge, that you have the resources, that you have the cleverness to figure things out. As soon as you believe that, you’re unstoppable.

Figure things out

Lesson number five:

Lesson number five was from a boss who was a very kind person. He was very respectful with his people, he cared for his people. A very nice person to work with.


In an argument once he had with Human Resources, he was told that he’s not been respectful with a person he had a discussion with. And that got to him so much that he actually ultimately left the company.


Before that, he had to put up with so much crap in this company, which did not affect him as much. But as soon as they attacked or compromised his values, that was just too much.


And this is the lesson that I got from this person. That as soon as something or someone compromises or attacks your values, your deep-seated values, you have to do what you have to do.


He moved to another company and in fact he was much more successful in the other company. He became vice president within one year, moving up from a director position.


And this led me actually to the next lesson, to the sixth lesson from this person.

That actually, very often it is not you, it’s the environment. Sometimes when you cannot move forward, it is not you. It is the environment. You need to be aware and separate what you believe about yourself, your self-perception and what other people perceive about yourself. You need to take into consideration the effect of the environment on your career.

You can only flourish in the right environment. You must make sure that you give 100% in order to achieve greatness. But if you do and still are stuck, you know what to change.

influence of environment

Lesson number seven:

Next lesson was from a person who taught me something that most of you will probably know. It’s about life is not fair. Luckily, I was on the positive side of this lesson, because I was actually treated very, very well. But if I would honestly look at the way she treated the entire team, there were differences.


The lesson that I got from this was, we have to stop seeking fairness. Life’s not fair. And people will respond to you always according to how you contribute to their particular wishes and needs or how the value is that you offer, the chemistry between the two of you. There’s always reasons why people respond differently and bosses are also just human beings.


You need to stop looking for fairness and you need to ask yourself, “In order to be treated better,” if this is what you want, “In order to be treated more fair, what is it that you can contribute? What is it that you need to do?” It’s again about you. You have the possibility to change something that can change the way other people respond to you.


Lesson number eigth:

The final lesson, was from a boss that told me an immensely human lesson, which is about always making people feel good about themselves. I have never seen this from anybody else that I interacted with. But this person made me feel so incredibly good about myself; that I was having good ideas, that I was treating people well, that I was engaging well…anything.


Even if I doubted myself in many moments, he always gave me the feeling that I did a great job. And that is something that I take with me as a lesson for me to live it and to be like this person, because it is something very, very important.


He was even vulnerable and as a vice president, he showed me that he can learn from me. He asked me things to teach him. This is amongst the biggest gifts that you can give to someone. Making them feel good about themselves.

Feel good about themselves


These were the lessons about the bosses.


In fact, there was something that was common to all of them and that was that they were caring about their people. Of course they had ambitions for themselves, they wanted to move forward in the organization, but they cared about their people.


In the discussions with them, in one-on-ones, they never only cared about the content of the discussion and for the company. They cared about the person.


And so you see, ultimately, they did not have a lesson for me. They WERE the lesson for me to pick up.


To all of you, who struggle maybe currently with bad bosses, let me tell you, screw them. There are so many nice people and good people around. Particularly in a big corporate environment, there is so much fluctuation that there will always be new bosses that you’ll be able to work with.


But let this be a lesson as well. When you choose your job, when you’re looking to move to another position within the organization, do not make money and the grading of the position a major criterion. Choose a job based on something that you care about. And watch out for a boss that actually would care about you.


How would you do that? Well, very simple. If you interview with someone, put them on the spot. Ask them the question, “What is your strategy and what is your vision for developing your people?” And he will tell you what his views are.


And if you’re a badass and actually you are more daring than that, when you meet the hiring manager, ask him the question, “If I would interview your people, what would they tell me about you?”


Good bosses will know what their people think about them. They will not always care about what people think about them, but they will know and they will be able to articulate what they believe a good boss is and why they behave as they behave.


In order to end this post, there is one more thing that I would like to tell you. I would like to please ask you to BE THAT LESSON FOR SOMEONE. This blog and this site that I’ve created, RolemodelU, is all about inspiring you and helping you become the role models that you have in you.


Giving you the tools and the insights for you to be able to help others. Because you never know who’s watching, you never know whom you influence and, you never know really whose life you could possibly change for the better.


Thank you very, very much for watching this. I hope it helped you and I hope it served you. If you like this video, please subscribe for more. Forward it, share it with somebody, who you believe could hear this lesson at this very moment. Until the very next lesson, all the best.

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