Bad Managers: Sometimes, They Just Need a Little Thanks and Support

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I get a ton of email from people who complain about their bosses.

And I have several readers who never feel supported enough. Some of you think your boss is incompetent. Still others complain that your boss isn’t your friend.

That’s too bad. I always send those readers over to Ask a Manager. She is such a great writer. There is no question she hasn’t been asked. You can search her archives for an answer to your problem.

I think we have a huge problem in the marketplace. Management gurus tell us that a) everyone is capable of greatness; and, b) leaders should make everyone feel capable of greatness even when that isn’t true.

Nobody HAS to work for a bad manager

That’s a lot of pressure on bosses, and I think some perspective is needed.

I believe that bosses should be congenial and supportive. Tension between management and labor shouldn’t exist.

But nobody in the modern workforce is an indentured servant. None of you are employed by the Russian mafia.

And while it feels good to bag on your boss, you should ask yourself, “Does my boss really have as much power as I think she has? Is my supervisor a dick or is he taking direction from his own boss? Do I play a part in my manager’s indifference towards me? Am I really giving it all I’ve got? Am I letting anyone down? And if it’s so bad, why don’t I just quit?

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A little thanks goes a long way

A little introspection never hurt anyone.

Yes, there are corrupt and perverted supervisors out there; however, most bosses are just tired and cranky. While leaders are paid to lead and inspire, sometimes they get hungry and need a snack.

When was the last time you brought your boss a donut and offered thanks for her support? You might want to start there.

And I like chocolate glazed donuts.

There’s a lot more from Laurie Ruettimann at her blog, The Cynical Girlwhere this originally appeared.

Laurie Ruettimann is a former human resources leader turned writer, entrepreneur, and speaker. She is also author of Betting on You: How to Put Yourself First and (Finally) Take Control of Your Career.

CNN has recognized Laurie as one of the top five career advisors in the United States, and her work has been featured on NPR, The New YorkerUSA TodayThe Wall Street Journal, and Vox. Laurie frequently delivers keynote speeches at business and management events around the world and hosts the popular podcast Punk Rock HR. She lives with her husband and cats in Raleigh, N.C.

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