My phone rang last month with yet another story of a very talented person who’s simply miserable working for a bad leader. This is a scary problem that I hear about more than you might think. Great and talented executives working for an ego-maniac- micro-manager—or worse a toxic leader. I can't think of a situation that is much worse for employees in the workforce to deal with. To deal with daily abuse knowing the odds are great that some form of abuse will occur without notice—sometimes in front of others (peers and subordinates). It sounds very painful—another day of biting your tongue, sucking it up and enduring more abuse.
For those that have dealt with this for years you become conditioned and find ways to cope. Not me. What a terrible way to live. I, for one, have experienced working for a toxic leader and made a personal promise to myself to never let that happen again. EVER!
What makes (terrible) leaders treat people the way they do? I don’t get it. Life is way too short and you need to honestly ask yourself the following questions about your leader:
Does your boss:
1. “Call you out” or demean you in front of your peers or subordinates?
2. Always communicate in a manner that makes you feel like you just can’t score any points or be good enough in their eyes—no matter how hard you work?
3. Elevate your stress level every time you are in his/her presence?
4. Never compliment you on a job “well done” and refuse to give you positive reinforcement?
5. Ask you to work long hours or be available for calls in the evening or over the weekend on a regular basis?
6. Micro-manage everything and every project you have responsibility for?
I love to give career advice to executive leaders—and I’m thrilled to help when I hear from a HCIT leader with a question where I can add some value. Glad to help. Here’s piece of advice that you can take to the bank. If you answered YES to any of the questions above—start looking for an exit door soon. Life is too short. If you answered YES to more two or more of the questions above—make a decision today to get out of the environment you are in. NOW. You can’t change the stripes when the zebra has a huge ego or a toxic personality. Don’t even try. Formulate a plan today to change your life—and put it to paper. Start working your network and others that can help you exit your unhealthy environment. Do whatever you have to in order to change your world. Just don’t stay.
You won’t believe how great you will feel when you exit the building for the last time and escape to freedom. There is a huge world out there and you deserve to be happy. Now, go make it happen!