Several years ago, a person called me at home and introduced himself as my new “boss.” I replied, “No, you are not.” He repeated his statement and added in that my former supervisor was terminated. My response was the same.

The back and forth went on a couple of more times to the point where I could sense irritation on the other end of the phone. The irritation was intentional, so that I would have his attention and that he would remember the conversation. It was the best thing to do for the company and the employees.

I explained that in this division — the most profitable division in a multi-billion-dollar company — that we have no “bosses,” we have co-workers with different areas of responsibility. Everyone’s role is equally important to the corporation and the product.

He may have mistakenly thought he was a “boss,” but, for practical purposes, he is quality control, human resource and workforce retention, what some call a supervisor. A perfect “boss,” quality control, supervisor, manager, etc. is not one that demands to be the leader, but one that develops a co-worker to do things the same way he would do them without having to do the work himself (assuming his way is the best way).

There are many active political members that believe the best thing for their municipality or government is for themselves to be in office to make every call. Only by winning can the vital difference be made. They advertise that the future can’t be risked with the opinions of fainter voices or similar statements that no one has the experience, education or party loyalty that I have (or that my ego tells me that I have). Those type of statements, in my opinion, are false and detrimental in attracting better qualified people into politics.

Lost to a fair number of politicians and politician want-to-bes is that the ideal victory is not the person that wins, it is the changing of opinions of others on how things could be done (sometimes, that change is your own). What better definition of campaign success is there then to not be elected, but to have created enough influence where the “winning” candidate reflects upon and changes previously held positions, processes, approaches to your more acceptable, sustainable, successful, efficient position or approach?

For the unsuccessful first-time candidates: keep going, keep learning, keep listening, stay honest. For the defeated incumbents: be content that the time you served was appreciated and be joyful that someone has emerged that can do an even better job. For the uncontested: look for people that are better than you. Groom them and encourage them. Hope that someday they will challenge you. Contrary to the belief of the ignorant, there are no losers in politics except for those that are not involved and those that have forgotten the purpose of political office.

Matt Schaertl of Shortsville is a frequent contributor to the Daily Messenger.