Management and employees alike see bosses as the flashpoint of employee engagement whether for good or not. Statistics from Gallup found 67 percent of U.S. workers aren’t actively engaged in their jobs (The highest in over 15 plus years of tracking employee engagement.) and managers continue to play a significant role. Another report by states a factor most highly linked to employee engagement is relationships with your immediate supervisor.

Such an emphasis is disquieting as it doesn’t hold employees accountable for being a proactive force rather it perceives them as only being able to change under the influence of management.

Yes. Its true employees have very little leverage to transform the policies and actions of senior management; and yet, they have all the right, power, and responsibility to impact their career mightily.If you’re committed to bettering the quality of your work life, challenge yourself:

What are some steps I can initiate to generate an attitude of appreciation and engagement at work even while reporting to a poor manager such that I contribute as the vital employee I was hired to be?

You can begin by recognizing the benefits of working with a “Less Than Ideal” Boss. And there are plenty of them as they provide you with the opportunity to:

Realize What The Business Respects
Everyone has a flat side as a professional—even bosses—even you! You know those imperfect aspects of everyone’s service to the company. The longer you pay attention to the negatives of your boss the more dominant it becomes in your mind’s eye. This reality places a spotlight on the missing, while completely ignoring your boss’s giftedness. Even more crucial, it leaves you not understanding what your organization values in your boss by examining why your company promoted and retained him or her in the first place. Instead, concentrate on what your boss brings to the table as a learning opportunity for your professional growth.

Building Up Not Tearing Down: Everyone loves “demo day” on HGTV. Whole crews—even untrained family members—merrily swing sledgehammers knocking down everything in their path. This phase requires very little know-how. But the creating portion of the renovation is another story. Higher level, more refined skill sets are essential. It’s the same in business. Tearing down a boss takes minimal talent.

On the other hand, optimistic team players ready and able to support their boss in being great are priceless. You’re cheating your company and yourself when you are anything less than a champion of your boss.

Inventor of Solutions Not Problems: Innovations is the key to every company whether large or small. And it’s a highly sought-after skill. Why? Those who generate solutions are the profit makers in any organization. They see challenges as a time to get excited about uncovering ways around and through and toward fulfilling the company’s strategic future. They don’t get stuck in the problem. They don’t get discouraged when people are flawed. Instead, with confidence, these highly valued employees move forward with the goal of solving the challenge at the forefront of their mind.

A significant turnaround in your engagement only occurs when you pay attention to the three fingers pointing at you, not the one pointing toward your boss. Take up the mantle of responsibility and transformation. It’s the only way you’ll create a career worth having.

Career Advancement Strategies

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