Sometimes working for a bad boss is reminiscent of a monarchy. We’ve all had our share of bad bosses. Organizations are certainly hierarchical by nature and your boss automatically has more leverage than you, and conversely you have more leverage than your direct reports. If you choose to declare war on your bad boss, understand that 90 percent of the time you will fail because their leverage is greater than yours. It is also important to note that there is something to be learned from a bad boss, how NOT to act. Below are some tactics that have proven to be successful in removing a bad boss.
If a majority or all of your peers who report to the bad boss find the boss to be hampering productivity or causing division come together to solve the issue. This approach only works if the group has a strong track record, are proven assets to the organization and have demonstrated success. By becoming a united front the whole will likely have more leverage than the bad boss when approaching upper management.
Persistence and patience
If you are considered a valuable contributor and produce exceptional work, keep doing that. Find a good sounding board, preferably someone who doesn’t work at the same company. There is a saying around the government that goes just wait until the next election and they will be gone. The same is true in the private sector except we don’t know when the election will be. Have patience and understand that your boss will likely move on sooner or later. It could take months or even years.
Find alliances where your boss is weak.
More than likely your boss’s influence doesn’t touch all areas of the organization. Find those areas where your boss has not established influence and start to build alliances. You could volunteer for projects that would give you the opportunity to establish relationships with other executives. This could lead to a transfer into another department or team.
Keep emotions in check – stick to the facts especially where loss in revenue, profit or productivity is occurring.
Keep your complaints to fact based examples of where their behavior is interfering with the growth of the organization. If you are unable to come up with a strong business case against your boss and their style, the problem is more than likely a personality clash. In that case you need to work hard to evaluate your role in the situation and perhaps make internal changes on how you approach your relationship with your boss.
Rather than spend your energies trying to get your bad boss fired, spend your time trying to find a new job while your reference is still good. Additionally you can try to coach-up and help your boss see how their behavior is not effective in accomplishing the goals of the organization.
More Actionable Advice:
Latest posts by Jason Cortel (see all)
- A Better Way to Have a Difficult Conversation - June 13, 2015
- Add These Tips from Grandma to Your Leadership Tool Kit - May 30, 2015
- Tuesday Tip: Start the Day with Clarity - May 26, 2015