Don’t you find it ironic with Gallup announcing “only 1 in 10 people possesses the talent to manage” yet at the same time, they say, “…companies must demand that every team in their workforce have a great manager!”

In an ideal world, we’d all appreciate having a fabulous manager one who assists us grow and develop as well as open the doors for the next step on our career journey. And yet, you and I both know there are a lot of “less-than-stellar” managers scattered throughout the organization ready to explode your career very much like land mines around the globe kill or maim people. So, what’s an employee to do?

Since the only person you can transform in this equation is you, become the very best at partnering with your boss and all the future bosses you have along the way because they are the key to your success.

Let’s explore a few tips:

  • You’re Still in a Hierarchical System: Despite collaboration being the watchword in companies today, your boss is the ruler of the roost. This role alone makes—other than yourself—your boss the most important catalyst for your career momentum either rapid advancement or finding yourself stuck in the weeds. So, begin asking yourself “How can I help my boss be great.” “How can I support him or her in receiving the next big promotion?” Because as your manager moves upward, it leaves a lot of room for your career progression.
  • Understand What Makes Your Boss Tick: The more you find out about your manager, the more powerful a partner you will be. Do you know the communication style your boss prefers—does he or she favor a lot of detail or short bullet points—then make sure you use the realization with your boss moving forward? Or discover which projects are your boss’s biggest “to-do” drivers–then make sure you give support and uncover solutions at every turn. Or what keeps your boss awake at night—then ask yourself, “How can I solve these issues proactively?” Recognizing these individualized aspects of your boss and makes your job a ton easier. It also sets you up for being identified as the go-to employee both to your manager and the organization.
  • Neither Suffer in Silence Nor Complain To Others: Leadership is all about demonstrating your ability to overcome challenges. So, treat any “less-than-stellar” boss situation as merely another tough assignment requiring innovative solutions, a never-give-up attitude and a whole bunch of flexibility on your part. Remember, your manager belongs to the Homo Sapiens race just like you do, and as such, we’re all a lot more alike than we are different—even the most senior of executives! The human species gravitate toward being respected, feeling distinct and worthy, being connected with intelligent, like-minded individuals, etc. Your job is to fill in the blank of your boss’s relationship needs in integrity with who you are.

Do not permit a bad, ugly, or hard to work with manager turn into your “career derailer.” As you successfully navigate partnering with the not so terrific boss, you gain the high-level skills that will lead you up the career ladder as a wunderkind employee.

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