One of the questions I get most often is how to deal with a bad boss. It seems like a lot of people really feel like their boss is holding them back.
And they’re probably not wrong.
But they are maybe not completely right either.
There’s no doubt about it. Bosses can help. And bosses can hurt. But also, worrying too much about your boss might just be a not-so-worthwhile distraction.
And perhaps a convenient excuse.
Here’s the deal.
The person most responsible for your success is you, not your boss. So, it’s better to take charge and simply view your boss (good or bad) as only one factor in what happens next.
Good Boss Bad Boss
If you have a good boss, you can build on that in many ways. You can leverage the relationship, your boss’ connections, your boss’ support, and probably your boss’ guidance and advice too.
If you have a bad boss, you can work around that in many ways. You can learn a lot from a bad boss. Maybe even more than you can learn from a good boss.
You probably won’t want to leverage a bad boss’ connections. And you won’t go looking for their support, guidance, or advice.
Which is an opportunity. It means you must get more creative. You must cast a wider net. You must move beyond hierarchy and find people who can help you. And who you can help too.
Moving in these directions can lead to some really great results.
You Are The Boss
You are the boss of you. You are the one who needs to drive your career forward.
You’re bad boss may simply be helping to make that abundantly clear for you. If so, take that opportunity and run with it.
Just don’t run away.
A new job with a new boss probably seems like the right answer. It’s an easy answer. But you’re not looking for change. You’re not looking for easy street.
You are looking for growth. For advancement. For a way to drive your career to the next level.
None of that comes from running away.
It comes from working hard towards positive goals. Your bad boss may make that harder. You might need to become more creative. You might need to become more resourceful.
All good things for your professional growth!
Grow Before You Go
Before you move on, and ultimately you will move on from this boss, make sure that you grow.
Make sure that you find ways to push yourself to develop stronger relationships across your organization.
Make sure you find ways to do excellent work, even if you can’t get much help from your boss.
Make sure you find ways to build your professional reputation, help others, and make strong contributions.
Your bad boss and you will part ways one way or another someday. Make sure you are stronger for having worked through this situation rather than weaker and meeker.
Rather than run away from an excuse to hold yourself back, run toward the opportunity to grow as a professional. Probably in more ways than might be possible with a great boss.