Everyone Hates The Boss (And Other Opportunities)

Knowing “everyone’s in the same boat” paralyzes instincts to adjust the sails. Commiserating creates false teams. Misery with company is miserable. Solve problems instead.

The more painful the situation, the easier it is to believe that everyone is right. “This can’t be fixed.” “The guy’s a jerk.” “The system is flawed.” Everyone knows it.

Become a clever complainer and they’ll elect you to captain the co-misery ship. Sailing the bandwagon in the same miserable direction isn’t leadership.

5 Opportunities to Rise Above Everyone

Leaders who fall into “everyone” traps diminish their power. Rise above. Seize opportunities to be someone in a sea of everyones.

  1. Everyone hates the boss – Okay, hopefully that’s not where your team is stuck. But it happens. Groupthink makes even nice guys look mean.

    If you think your boss is a jerk, and everyone else does too, I challenge you to go deeper. Get to know her. Tell her the truth. If everybody’s frustrated, she knows it. Chances are, under all that crap, she is starving for help. Don’t bring the band or the wagon. Someone will speak the truth without emotion. Why not you?

  2. Everyone is struggling to achieve results – Self-delusion loves support. When everybody’s stuck, “clearly nothing more can be done.” Don’t succumb to excuses. Try new approaches. Leverage the bandwagon’s energy to brainstorm solutions. Someone will breakthrough. Why not you?
  3. Everyone does it this way – It may even be called a best practice. It’s working, but you know it could be better. It’s risky to try. No one expects new solutions. You have ideas, but why rock the boat? Leaders disrupt good for better. Someone will. Why not you?
  4. Everyone is exhausted – Tough one. Leading well from exhausted takes energy and there’s the rub. Find some. In the thick of the stress, stepping back seems insane. Do it anyway. Someone needs to. Someone will. Why not you?
  5. Everyone is looking for a new job – It depends why they’re looking. Either way, those looking elsewhere are distracted. If you chose to re-commit and excel you will stand out in the midst of distraction. Someone’s career will grow. Why not you?
Leaders are someones in the midst of everyone. Why not you?
Filed Under:   Authenticity & Transparency, Career & Learning
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt
Karin Hurt, is CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders and a former Verizon Wireless executive. Karin was named on Inc.’s list of 100 Great Leadership Speakers for Your Next Conference, the American Management Association List of 50 Leaders to Watch, and as a Trust Across America Top Thought Leader in Trust. She’s the award-winning author of two books, Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results— Without Losing Your Soul, and Overcoming an Imperfect Boss. She’s regularly featured in business publications including Fast Company, Entrepreneur, and Inc.

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What People Are Saying

Dave Bratcher   |   24 July 2013   |   Reply

This is so true. I remember reading Dave Ramsey’s book, Entreleadership, and learning about one of the policies on his team. He instituted a “No Gossip Policy” which was monitored by the team members themselves. This was a way to try and limit the amount of negative conversations within the team. Negative conversations within any organization do not benefit anyone. Disney refers to these times as acting one way when the cast members are “On Stage”. Everyone needs a moment to decompress, but this must happen “Off Stage”. As always, Karin, GREAT JOB!

letsgrowleaders   |   24 July 2013   |   Reply

Dave, thanks so much. Gossip is so destructive… and seductive. I agree with Ramsey… and you. Thanks for always expanding the conversation.

sue bock   |   24 July 2013   |   Reply

Gossip is destructive. It can also open a discussion for change.

Ali Anani (@alianani15)   |   24 July 2013   |   Reply

Karin- the presentation I am writing now and referred to in some of my comments on slideshare is entitled “Thinking Prints”. A leader may leave his thinking prints on sand and soon these prints shall blow away. But there are prints that are engraved on rocks and they stay for long times. Influence prints coming from ill Thinking Prints are wane and soon shall disappear. Negative leaders falls under this category.
So, if I say I love this post I mean it. Apparently, ideas are contagious.

letsgrowleaders   |   24 July 2013   |   Reply

Ali, Nice! Let’s all leave important prints today.

Jesse Lyn Stoner   |   24 July 2013   |   Reply

Well said, Karin! Important topic. Bonding with others around negativity creates the illusion of connection and support, but ultimately traps you in stagnation.

letsgrowleaders   |   24 July 2013   |   Reply

Jesse, Thanks so much for your comment. Well said, the “illusion of connection and support.”

sue bock   |   24 July 2013   |   Reply

Exactly, why not you? We recently acquired a new boss after having one for several years who was adored and let us do what we needed to do to get our jobs done. If we needed help she was there. Our new boss new that we had had successes with our past boss and new she had big shoes to fill. She failed. She stayed open, bless her, she listened, and she adapted. Slowly she is learning that we are capable, she doesn’t need to prove anything to us (and it won’t work anyway), and just slowing down will increase our confidence in her. Whether she stays or goes, we’ll still be there just as always. A growth experience for all of us.

Sue Bock

letsgrowleaders   |   24 July 2013   |   Reply

Sue, Excellent. Thanks for adding that. I’ve got a new boss too….. and I’ve been a new boss many times. It might be time for a post on that ;-)