If you've spent any time in the working world, you've likely run across some bad bosses. They're certainly plentiful on television -- think of The Office, for example, where boss Michael Scott says of his staff: "No, I'm not going to tell them about the downsizing. If a patient has cancer, you don't tell them." Or the evil Montgomery Burns on The Simpsons, who offered this sage advice: "I'll keep it short and sweet. Family. Religion. Friendship. These are the three demons you must slay if you wish to succeed in business."

Bad bosses abound in our online Foolish Community of discussion boards, too. One member noted that soon after his home burned down, his company was demanding that he replace a computer that was destroyed in it. Jeepers.

Often, when we're stuck with a bad boss, we feel trapped. We may want to flee, but we may also value the job and the income it provides. In such situations, we often end up sticking it out as long as we can, not being entirely happy. It doesn't have to be this way, though -- at least not entirely.

Become a dividend investor, and you'll be the boss -- at least, the boss of your portfolio. You'll have hundreds or thousands of little workers, in the form of the dollars you invest in dividend-paying stocks. Each of them, whether you're awake or asleep, at work or play, will keep their noses to the grindstone, generating income for you. Better still, reinvest those dividends in additional shares (or fractions of shares) of stock, and it will be as if your little workers recruited new workers of their own. Each of those new workers (your new shares) will suddenly be working for you, too, generating dividend income of their own. And all this time, over the long haul, the value of your shares (dividends aside) is likely to rise, as well.

We're all actually bosses all the time, when it comes to our money. We can send off our dollars when we buy a new car, or when we leave them in a checking account earning minimal interest, or when we plunk them into a powerful mutual fund. It's up to us how good or bad a boss we want to be, when it comes to our hard-earned dollars. They're waiting for their orders. If you're making poor decisions about your money and aren't saving and investing, you're being a rather bad boss.

For some eye-opening insights, check out these articles, which detail the power of dividend investing:

  • "My Dividends Are Bigger Than Yours," in which I describe how my investment in Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has given me a hefty dividend yield. I also list some firms with strong dividend growth rates, such as Bank of America (NYSE:BAC).
  • "Give Yourself a Raise!," in which Nathan Parmelee discusses his investing strategy and also offers a list of frequent dividend hikers, such as Watsco (NYSE:WSO) and Applebee's (NASDAQ:APPB).
  • "Get Paid Now and Later," in which Nathan offers a list of the past decade's best dividend hikers, led by Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and also featuring Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and Tiffany (NYSE:TIF).

If you're in the market for some above-average investments that pay hefty dividends, look no further than our Motley Fool Income Investor. (Grab a free trialand see all the picks of our analyst Mathew Emmert, which are ahead of the market by an average of 19% to 13%, last time I checked.)

You can gain additional insights in these articles:

Johnson & Johnson and Bank of America are both Motley Fool Income Investor picks. Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. The Motley Fool has a full disclosure policy.