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John C. Maxwell is an internationally renowned expert in leadership, who advises everyone from government employees...
John C. Maxwell is an internationally renowned expert in leadership, who advises everyone from government employees to members of management within blue chip companies. He has the following to say about management:
“Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.”
Wouldn’t it be great if all bosses fitted this profile? Sadly they don’t, and if you’re reading this article, the chances are you’ve got one of the worst kinds of manager out there—the boss on an ego trip.
Some individuals simply aren’t cut out to manage people; others could potentially do a good job of it with the right kind of training. After all, good man-management is sometimes more a question of technique than of inherent ability.
Regardless: if you’re stuck with a boss on an ego trip, the best thing to do is to develop some strategies to handle them on a day-to-day basis. Here are some ideas:
You have every right to be given clear objectives in your work, so ask for them—and try to do so in a way that ensures things are written down and on record. The more you do this, the less room there is for dispute as to your level of performance.
If your boss has a big ego, you’ll cope better if you’re not constantly trying to fight them. This doesn’t mean you should bow down to unreasonable behaviour, but more that you should pick your battles wisely so as not to expend unnecessary energy.
If the situation with your boss crosses the line from an inconvenience to a serious problem, and you feel you have a genuine cause for grievance, don’t be scared to follow your company’s relevant procedure. After all, if people don’t speak out, the “powers that be” may never learn how your boss really behaves.
However, you should obviously be sure you have a genuine cause for complaint beyond a simple personality clash—choosing this route could result in things getting worse before they get better!