Vannoy and Ross
If your boss says something while standing in the woods, and there is no one around to hear him, is he still wrong?
What is striking, and perhaps most important, is how people respond to a bad boss. If you have ever found yourself working for someone who has lost your respect, did you:
A) Stop respecting yourself? This type of person allows their boss to determine how they lead themselves. My boss is an idiot, therefore I’m not giving my full effort…I’m going to withhold my best ideas… I’m going to spend my discretionary time sabotaging the fool…”
B) Continue to respect yourself? This person leads a life where their values and integrity are not conditional. How hard you work, how determined you remain to move things forward, how creative you become with your discretionary time…all of these things remain in your control. You may not agree with your boss, but that has no effect on your quest to be the best expression of yourself.
There is another issue, of course. The difference between person ‘A’ and ‘B’ above is not only their moral fortitude, it is also the type of evidence they collect and focus on. There will always be evidence that the boss is a jerk, just as there is evidence that he is not.
And, if there is no evidence at all, it is helpful to remember Carl Sagan’s words: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
There are a lot of bad bosses. Organizations everywhere suffer from people with marginal skills or abilities who are in positions of authority. The damage caused by poor leaders, including lost opportunities, is immeasurable.
Who will determine how effectively you work today?