Making Lemonade from a Bad Boss

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The following is a short book preview with tips for surviving a bad boss contributed by the Ohio State University Leadership Center.

Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace
Kate Willyerd, Barbara Mistick, and Joseph Grenny, Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons (2015)

“Bad bosses are everywhere. A simple scan of The New York Times’ Workologist column finds no shortage of advice for those with bully bosses. Is the experience of working for a bad boss worth it?

Can you justify for working for a bad boss? As long as you know the tradeoff and can stay focused on what you will take away from the experience. Engaging with a bad boss who is a genius and can teach you lots is different that the gut-wrenching dread of an abusive boss. If there isn’t an upside, it’s best to avoid or leave a bad boss.

Bad bosses often motivate us to seek a change rather than settle for intolerable situations. Acknowledging the toxic situation can be the perfect opportunity to reassess how you define success and what you want out of your career and company culture. Seeking alternative solutions both inside and outside your organization can give you time to interview and test out new jobs.

You also might confront your boss directly and try to develop a plan to improve the relationship. Just remember that people don’t change unless they want to, so don’t try to change your boss. Finding something that is satisfying about your work can be a good way to stay positive while you wait out changes in leadership (p. 116-117).”

Stretch is available from the OSU Leadership Center.

Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world at the OSU Leadership Center website.

Jim Canterucci

I don't know everything. But I want to. The focus of our firm, Transition Management Advisors, is to develop leadership capabilities to create a championship culture, generate innovation, and successfully lead the resulting changes.

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On September 10, 2018
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