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How to Thrive Under Bad Leadership

A more polite term might be “boss handicap,” but egotistical jerk or bumbling idiot might do just as well. In a post for PM Hut, Randy Hall give his two cents on the subject of functioning–nay, thriving–under bad boss conditions. Here goes.

Point the Finger at Yours Truly

Before you get too excited about getting subversive with your #1, take a long look at your own track record. That’s right. It’s all too easy to criticize first and look later. If you don’t understand how the higher-ups make decisions, then what right do you have to judge? It’s entirely possible that the problem runs both ways. Bad communication is 50% not speaking up and 50% not listening. You won’t get anywhere by simply tearing them down. There has to be a legitimate reason to defy.

The next thing to consider (realistically) is whether or not you have the power to affect a relevant outcome. Perhaps your best bet is to indirectly influence decision-making. Why go through all the trouble yourself when it is far easier to lend some advice to your superior, to help guide them, even coach them, in the right direction? If accomplished with tact, it is an approach that will make you look competent while improving the organization.

I’m with Stupid

The worst thing you can do in a bad boss scenario is decry a bad decision and then do nothing about it. Hall offers a more productive reaction: to find some positive aspect of the bad decision and to make it work as best you can. There are other repercussions to condemning a senior’s decision:

If you whine about the stupidity above you, you are not leading nor are you helping those whom you are responsible for. You’re also telling your team that it’s OK to whine about the people above them – that’s you by the way. In essence, you’re just joining the stupid people.

But maybe the decision is really bad – like, really, really bad. If your boss has any shred of credibility (come on, you know they do), then it’s time to have a face to face talk about potential consequences or miscommunicated expectations. Of course, you don’t have to be forceful. They might be a bit dull, but you’re not. Show restraint and due tact, and you’ll come out ahead in the end.

Read the original post at: http://www.pmhut.com/how-to-thrive-under-bad-leadership

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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