What to do When you are Frustrated with your Leader
In most of the leadership classes I teach, at least one person is frustrated about their boss. What can you do when those leading you and not good leaders themselves? Everyone, no matter what position they have or what role they play has some sort of leader above them. Even if you are the CEO of your company, you have a board and investors you report to. As a top person in a non-profit organization, you may have mentors above you. So how do you lead up? If you've been to some of my classes or have been reading this newsletter for a while, everything I've shared about being a leader still applies in this case. Because as a leader, you not only lead people below you (subordinates, followers, clients), you also have to lead those above you (bosses, managers of other departments, share holders), and those beside you (teammates, friends, members of other departments)
1. Maintain your integrity and have a positive attitude- Don't bad mouth your boss or leader, continue doing what you know to do and perform at your best. Don't develop an I don't care attitude but be a good example. No matter what circumstances you face, your greatest limitation isn't your leader, it's the spirit within you..it's your attitude. Your ultimate success is in nobody's hands but yours (this is hard to believe and act upon but it's true).
2. Build a relationship with your leader - Your first reaction to working for an ineffective leader is to withdraw; but don't make your leader your enemy. As a good leader yourself what should you do? What do good leaders do? They connect with others and they build relationships. Get to know your leader, try to build understanding and forge a connection. In our 5 Weeks to a Better Leader Class, we discuss the techniques to building relationships, understanding others better and connecting with others so as to increase our influence with them. Doing this will put you on the same side as your leader and help you take the necessary action to act proactively and be a problem solver despite what your leader does.
3. Add Value to your leader and other team members. Discover what your leader needs, what might be missing in their life and add value. How can you complement your leader's weakness in a tactful way? What about taking some load off their plate? What resources could you share with them? How could you make them look good? Do this also with others - because that is what leaders do. Adding value to others will also send the right message that you're a person of integrity and not just doing it to gain the attention of your leader.
4. Focus on their strengths and affirm them- No matter how bad a person might be, they have at least one thing that's positive. Be very appreciative of that one thing. Show your appreciation privately and publicly. No one rejects appreciation especially when you do it in public. Doing this is a way to gain influence and respect with your leader.
5. Introduce your leader to leadership resources - Usually some leaders behave the way they do due to a lack of awareness, education and the inability to see their blind spots. Some would send their subordinates to leadership classes when in fact they are the ones who need the training. You can share what you are reading, a report from the classes you are attending, or suggest in a nice way a resource on leadership. When you consistently work on growing yourself as a leader and producing results, your leader will be able to trust you and most likely listen to you when and if it's time to have a conversation about your situation.
Bonus tip: Some leaders have one or two people that have an influence on them, people they actually listen to and respect. Build relationships with those people and see if you can use their influence on your leader as leverage. And if all else fails....change your leader.
That could be an option.
According to John Maxwell, Your job isn't to fix the leader, it's to add value. If the leader won't change, then change your attitude or your work address!
I would like to invite you to invest in yourself and your team and take one of our leadership classes or book one for your organization. Click here to see what we have lined up. If you are an individual contributor and you are stuck and not getting the results you want, why not book a free strategy session with me and let's identify the gaps keeping you from achieving results. Click here to learn more and schedule a session
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