Being married doesn't make one a better boss

Summary:As a single living in Singapore, you can't buy a government-subsidized flat until you hit 35. Even then, you're permitted to purchase only second-hand flats and not newly-built ones from the housing board authorities, which are typically cheaper.

As a single living in Singapore, you can't buy a government-subsidized flat until you hit 35. Even then, you're permitted to purchase only second-hand flats and not newly-built ones from the housing board authorities, which are typically cheaper.

It's my government's way of urging its citizens to tie the knot and live happily ever--or not--so I get it and try not to regard it as a form of discrimination against singles.

But, I took issue over a statement someone recently made that unmarried workers don't make good bosses because they lack the experience of being in a relationship. And as such, don't know how to manage relationships with their colleagues.

It's an easy assumption to make, but it's also a sorely misguided one. I've worked with several bosses over the years and those whom I appreciated most were not married.

I can just as easily assume married people to be selfish and incapable of being good bosses because they are focused only on managing one relationship--with their spouse--and often do so at the expense of their relationships with others, such as their family and friends. How often have we heard about someone snapping at his parents in order to keep his wife happy?

In fact, I would argue that singles make better bosses because they recognize the need to maintain multiple relationships. Because they lack a better half, they're likely to invest more time and effort maintaining close ties with their family members as well as circle of friends.

It is this experience of managing connections with multiple personalities, and amid different environments, which enables unmarried bosses to be more understanding and to manage their staff with more empathy.

In the tech world, being married is like having exclusive agreements and relying on servicing a major contract with only one, albeit lucrative, business partner. The company enjoys massive returns from the association, especially if the deal is with a business partner that sees high user demand in the market, because it is assured of maximum payback due to the exclusivity.

And because of the high benefits, it dedicates all its time and effort nurturing the relationship to ensure the business partner remains contented enough to carry on the exclusive association. All's well and good until of course, the latter decides to end the relationship. The company is then left stranded without a viable business partner because it had invested all its energy on one partner and neglected to cultivate ties with other market players.

This post isn't meant to be an anti-marriage tirade and I'm not trying to make a case for polygamy...don't even think about it. The point I'm trying to make is that it's important to always strike a balance when dealing with personal and business relationships.

There's nothing wrong with inking close ties with a handful of business partners but this shouldn't come at the expense of neglecting potential links to other lucrative players in the market.

The same applies to how we all manage our relationships. Spouses should absolutely dedicate more attention to their loved ones, after all they'd vowed to love and honor in sickness and in health, but if they did so by sacrificing their relationships with family and friends, they may find themselves alone when their marital union ends.

When was the last time you spent time catching up with your parents and friends over dinner?

Topics: Singapore, Asean, Emerging Tech, Health, IT Employment, Legal

About

Eileen Yu began covering the IT industry when Asynchronous Transfer Mode was still hip and e-commerce was the new buzzword. Currently a freelance blogger and content specialist based in Singapore, she has over 15 years of industry experience with various publications including ZDNet, IDG, and Singapore Press Holdings. Eileen majored i... Full Bio

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