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My Boss Is an Ass

Featured Business Best Practice: One-Page Project Management Processes

1-page PDF document
PMI did not change the definition of a project or project management in the PMBOK ® Guide - Seventh Edition (published in 2021), but they did change the focus from a process-oriented approach to a principle-centered approach. Unlike previous PMBOK ® Guide updates which replaced older [read more]

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4429492940_3276ebcea4Let’s face it. Your boss might not be the most emotionally evolved mammal on the planet.  Chances are you will have to deal with (or have already dealt with) a boss that is all too like the chicanery you see from Dunder Mifflin’s leadership team.

No matter what you do, it’s never enough.  Your results are never big enough or fast enough.  Even though the boss is never there, when he does decide to show up he “second guesses” all your decisions and keeps asking “what the hell is going on around here?”

All the while you are using all your big people skills to not shout out the obvious answer — “You would know if you were here…”  But you shut your mouth and pretend to take notes on the clipboard you are holding.  Muttering to yourself if having a job is really all that worth it.

Not for bosses like that!

The extra stress and chaos does nothing but bring you years closer to your death.  It’s not only stupid, it’s dangerous – to your mental and physical health.

So what can you do?  Do you just slam the door, throw your boss “the bird,” and collect unemployment?  Maybe.

But if you play your cards right, you can find yourself in a better place (mentally, physically, and financially…) with just some good old-fashioned planning.  Here’s how to handle the situation.

1. Do your job right now.

That’s the kicker.  Don’t get sloppy.  And don’t get lazy.  Even the biggest moron bosses can spot a slouch from a mile away.  You don’t need a target on your chest while you are plotting your escape, so do your job.  And do it damn well.  You don’t gain a thing from cutting corners or trying to game the system in your favour.

Your boss owns your ass for the eight hours (or more) that he is paying you to be there.  Moron or not, he owns you.  That right.  If you are taking his money then you owe him effort.  Don’t make things worse by shirking your responsibilities.

2. Don’t pick sides or get petty.

The only way that moron bosses can have friends (temporarily…) is by pitting employees against each other.  They will draw you into a discussion and try to get you to complain or poke holes at another person that you are doing business alongside.  Then once you are out of the room, they do the exact opposite to the other person — except this time it is aimed at you.  Don’t fall into that trap.

Be polite but insist that you don’t have anything to say bad about your peers — even if you do.  What you don’t know is that it’s not a level playing field.  If you take the high road you’ll avoid the traps.  And by the way, you need your peers to help you with your next steps, so don’t burn bridges.  Be fair. Don’t be petty.

3. Plan your exit expertly.

Find out what you want to do next and make it happen.  Have a budget. Know exactly how much money you need to keep your dream alive.  Write down the one thing you would do if money were not an option.  Start doing that thing after hours (instead of watching TV).  Volunteer if you can’t get paid to do what you love.

But most importantly, be an expert about your future. Money. Time. Location.  Know everything about what and where you want to be.  You don’t want to make an uninformed decision and find yourself crawling back to a bad boss — just because that’s the only thing you can get paid to do.  Create a plan.  Put the steps on a calendar.  Start executing.   You’ll be out of there in no time.

4. Don’t repeat your past mistakes.

If there are personality types that annoy you, then avoid them — at all costs.  If you can’t work for male bosses, then find a female leader to work for.  This is where you need to be really clear about what made your boss such a moron in the first place.  Was he/she offensive?  Crude?  Obnoxious?  Unfairly demanding?  What are the 2 or 3 things that make the situation unworkable from your perspective?

By the way, a lot of male bosses are perverts.  They talk about God and how much they love their wives, but two weeks later they are trying to play “grab ass” with you.  Talk to other people who work there.  Buy them a beer.  They will tell you everything you need to know to make an informed decision.  Whatever you do, don’t leave just to leave.  And don’t take another job just because it’s not the one you have right now.

5. Get physical along the way.

Frankly, this whole situation is rubbish.  Big time.  Stress and panic and chaos are never good ingredients to add to your lifestyle.  The resulting product is sure to look pretty worn out.  You need to plan extra “stress-relieving” into your schedule.  And that doesn’t just mean more sex.  It means physical exercise.  You hitting something or running somewhere or sweating.

There is something empowering about working through your frustrations.  It’s healing.  And that’s what you need a lot of.  To keep a level head and to execute the other steps we talked about you need to be a warrior.  Focused.  On message.  Ready to spring into action at the right moment.  Get in shape.  You’ll need it.

This is always tougher to do than to talk about.

You can only fix you. So focus on that.

Remember that.  There will always be idiots and morons.  But you don’t need to work for one.

You’re better than that.  Get out.  But do it your way.

Don’t let frayed emotions and stressed decision-making force your hand into doing something that is hard to recover from. Play it cool.  Have a plan.

Find someone else who appreciates your talents.

The truth is that they are out there looking for someone like you!

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Recent McKinsey research surveyed a large set of global executives and suggests that many companies, these days, are in a nearly permanent state of organizational flux. A rise in efforts in Organizational Design is attributed to the accelerating pace of structural change generated by market [read more]

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About Grant Stanley

Grant Stanley is an experienced Sales & Marketing Leader with over 20+ years coaching, training, and developing New and Existing Business. With experience in IT, Telecom, Capital Equipment, and FMCG, Grant shares his business experiences and expertise on his blog, CSM Consultants (Inspiring & Enabling Change). Grant is also an author on Flevy, where he has published materials from Business Fundamentals to Management and Leadership Excellence. Take a look at all of Grant's Flevy best practice documents here. You can also connect with Grant Stanley on LinkedIn here.

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