December 20, 2010

Does Your Boss Need You?

One of the questions that one should ask constantly is "Does Your Boss Need You?". The answer should be a 'firm yes'. If it is a 'weak yes' or a 'no' then the die is cast. In the latter case one must try to change the 'weak yes' or 'no' into a 'firm yes' and if one fails then be wise enough to read and understand the writing on the wall.

What are the situations in which the answer will be a 'weak yes' or 'no'? Some of such situations are listed below:  

Your goals are not aligned with your boss

And it is possible that your goals were set through consultation and concurrence of your boss. This is the case when the boss has a hidden agenda and this may be related to his or her own view on what would land him or her the next higher role. In that context you may be irrelevant for your boss and so will your goals be.

The best way out in this situation is to try to see the picture from your boss's eyes and offer to change your goal.

This may mean that you have become irrelevant to the organization in a real sense because what you do or don't has no impact on your boss's performance. 

Your boss holds a grouse against you

This is the case when you are technically superior to your boss and everyone in the organization has the same view or the boss feels threatened by your growth in the organization.

The best way out in this situation is to downplay your technical superiority and never cut your boss down in any meeting where even one more person is present other than the two of you.

This may mean that if your boss doesn't leave the organization soon you better start looking out for growth opportunities.

Your boss doesn't like you because of socio-political factors

This is the case when you probably joined the organization before your boss and are well established especially when your old boss becomes the boss of your new boss.

The best way out in this situation is to play it safe and ensure you are informally connected to your earlier boss.

This may mean that in case you happen to violate any of the company policy (even by chance) the boss may exploit it to make your life tough 

Your boss doesn't have your mobile number

This is the case when your boss doesn't think he'll ever need you for anything urgent and crucial and you don't matter for him or her.

The best way out in this situation is to proactively own up certain activities which you know your boss is deeply concerned about.

This may mean that you may end up doing things which don't excite you or add value to your professional career and hence it would be better to work with another boss who would care to take your mobile number as you'd matter for him or her.

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