Lead Up To Solve Your Problem Of A Bad Boss
This is an excerpt from "The Challenge of Frustration"
Recently I had the opportunity to discuss leadership with a group of mid-level managers. At the end of my presentation I was approached by a significant number of the attendees who all had the same question.
The questions, while asked differently all had the same theme: what do I do when my “leader” isn’t a real leader at all?
The answer to that question is simple and complicated all at once. I’m assuming (I know that’s dangerous) that the people asking the question are truly leaders. That means they care about the people they lead, they understand that their own success is completely dependent upon the success of the people they lead and that they get as much pleasure from their people’s success as they do their own.
If that is the case then the answer to the question is this: Lead Up.
Lead your leader the same way you lead your followers. Realize that your leader is a person too, realize that they, like every other human being on the planet, have their faults and limitations.
The most Authentic Leaders lead in every direction, down, across and up. That means that instead of criticizing the person above you, which accomplishes nothing, you should be trying to help them overcome their faults and limitations. You can coach them the same way you coach others, you can demonstrate that you care about them the same way you demonstrate that you care about others. You can invest yourself in their success as if their success was your own…because for an Authentic Leader it is.
But…and this is what makes it complicated, before you can do any of that you must earn the right to lead up.