In my mind, I’ve had some terrible managers. One said to me “I can fire you at any time”, to which I responded. “That’s inherent within your role as my manager so why do you feel the need to make such a statement?” Another accused me of lying and my reply was “That’s the funny thing about the truth, sometimes it’s difficult to believe.” Lucky for me this was very early in my professional career and I was able to recover from each experience and learn from my errant ways. The greatest lesson was the importance of managing your manager. It is never prudent to take your supervisor or manager head on, to avoid such a scenario it’s best to learn what they value and do your best to deliver. What does your boss feel is important? What are his or her priorities? What are their greatest challenges or obstacles? What can you do assist your manager in working through or over coming these challenges? As long as it’s not illegal, unethical or immoral, focus your energy on doing your best to anticipate their needs and being proactive in presenting deliverables.
I’ve also learned to listen more, speak less and assess the organization’s culture wholly before making any rash decisions. Nowadays rather than arguing with or challenging any authority within the organization directly, I focus on pleasing my boss. I‘ve learned if he or she is happy then that usually works in my favor. How about you? What “terrible” managers have you had? Give us some examples of how you managed them effectively? How did you manage them poorly? In retrospect what could you have done differently?