I came across an interesting survey that said for every 10 people interviewed, 2 had a boss that hurt their careers. WOW, 20% are being blocked, frustrated, diminished or worse. The only good thing about a bad boss is that it forces you to move on as quickly as possible. How you move on and where you go are the critical questions.
GOOD BOSS: A good boss should train you to be successful in your current job, support you when you run into a problem and help you develop increasing responsibilities. One predictor of success can be determined by your relationship with your boss. An effective boss should build a team, share success and help develop expanding competencies in their people.
BAD BOSS: A bad boss tends to be insecure in their job and makes life miserable by constant criticism, micromanagement, and lack of support. The behaviors of a bad boss can be a lack of delegation, underexposure to higher management, taking credit for your work or passing blame for shortfalls. We have all seen examples and know a bad boss when we see one. Most have a tin ear to alternatives or others’ opinions.
WHAT TO DO? If you have a good boss, optimize your time with them. Stretch your opportunities to perform, but make sure you get the results expected. The more you perform the greater the opportunities to expand your skills and demonstrate your competence. Your career will tend to accelerate. Make sure others around you know that you have a good boss, especially upper management. Senior management wants to know those who can develop talent and create a work environment for improving performance.
If you have a bad boss, do the best job you can while minimizing your time being nearby and seek other opportunities both internally through the posting system or externally with a quiet job search. Or if you’re comfortable, ask your boss, “What can I do to help you achieve your objectives while at the same time get a raise or a promotion?” Try to find out the problems your boss is having difficulty solving and ask if there are ways you can help.
Some bosses don’t want help. There isn’t much you can do in those cases except try to perform at your best, given a bad situation. There are also situations where the environment is negative or the business is in a downturn. There’s not much a boss can do about that situation either. In both cases, keep your options open for a new position in a new environment that is more compatible with your career plans.
A bad boss tends to push good people out of the organization while a good boss tends to draw high performers to them. What are you experiencing? What do you plan to do about it?
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