Thank for you putting into capturing a phenomenon I’ve long observed.

“You mentioned employees who are "reliable, obedient, and do a good enough [job] not to overshadow the manager or get the manager in trouble.’

I resemble that employee.”

Speaking of “obedient” - here’s some food for thought for both interviewers of new managers as well as diverse candidates.

I’ve learned that understanding your potential manager’s definition of “obedient” is a key, though not conclusive, to gauging how they may respond to an “expensive” employee.

If your potential manager thinks “obedience is respect” they may align more with a Strict Father worldview.

This worldview believes if you are obedient, you will become self-disciplined, and only if you are self-disciplined can you succeed. Success is therefore a sign of having been obedient and having become self-disciplined.

If your potential manager defines “respect as consideration” for individuals and community, then will may align closer to a Nurturant worldview.


Nurturant managers tend to prioritize empathy for others and the helping of those who need help. Obedience is preferably out of consideration, not to “know your place.”

Undoubtedly, Nurturant managers are most likely to be considerate to outlier employee needs and differences. But it can incur infantilization and paternalism.

Strict Father managers strongly prefer low-maintenance employees. But if you prove your merit, you may be worth the accommodations. Problem is, as a diverse employee, proving yourself is often at a higher standard and continuous.

Keep in mind that most people have elements of both worldviews and often depend on the situation. Still, my experiences show it’s a decent compass.

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Change Amplifier | Just & Climate-Resilient Futures | Marzipan Enthusiast

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Abril Garrido Chivato

Change Amplifier | Just & Climate-Resilient Futures | Marzipan Enthusiast