What Undercover Boss Can Teach Us

One of the shows I enjoy watching is Undercover Boss. The premise is that the boss goes undercover (I know where do they come up with these show names, right?) and observes employees acting and working “in the wild.”

Usually the show focuses on some low-paid employees who are struggling to pay their bills, or who have to put up with terrible customer behavior. All of this is interesting and sets up amusing interactions between skilled employees and a boss who can’t seem to quite do the job.

What really intrigues me about the show, however, is that in almost every episode one of the employees who works with the undercover boss is really dreaming of something else. The job they love isn’t the one they have.

How many of us does that describe? That we’re working just because that’s where we find ourselves.

In the course of the show, these employees are often generously given $10,000 or $20,000 to follow their dreams. I’ve watched as generous bosses give seed money for a new business. Buy specialized training to start a new career path. Or even pay off college loans.

At the end of the show I often think, what would it take for me to start a business that I love? What would it take for you to start?

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