Friday, May 9, 2008

When Your Boss Is The CBO

Most companies have their share of CBO's ... Chief Bad Officers.
Your boss might be one.

Experience has shown that there are few things that can derail an otherwise successful career more easily than a poor relationship with a boss.

I’ve been across the desk from C-suite residents at marquee companies, watching as they go from titans of industry to frustrated school kids, venting their frustrations and recounting tales of woe about how badly their bosses treat them and the injustices they feel are inflicted upon them.

I’ve coached executives whose jobs were on the line, not because they weren’t brilliant, but because they failed to identify the ingredients required to make the “secret sauce” needed to ensure their relationship with their boss was a success.

I’ve heard stories about bosses who were described as unpredictable, unreasonable, ungrateful and inconsistent – not to mention bullies, ego maniacs and just plain nut jobs.

To quote Dick Cheney … So?

Now, I’m not saying that these aren't legitimate gripes. On occasion, some are so serious as to require intervention or even exit, but stressing about a bad boss is a poor use of time and energy and never makes the situation better.

The reality of corporate America is that no matter how high up in the company you are, your boss has power over you. Successful executives know that learning how to manage that relationship is a top priority and 100% their responsibility.

Figuring out how to do that is the key.

The best relationships are those based on open, candid and direct communication with clearly defined and agreed upon goals and objectives ... generally forged in the earliest stages of the working relationship. It’s a lot easier to set a good tone right from the get-go than it is to repair a damaged relationship.

But whether you’re just starting out with a new boss or have been working for the same person for a while, it’s up to you to understand what makes them tick and adjust your style accordingly.

Spend time observing them, analyzing them and put yourself in their shoes. What’s important to them? What’s their communication style? Work style? What are the hot buttons? Turn ons? Turn offs? How do they act and react?

After you determine all that, then answer these questions. ”What adaptations do you need to make to ensure a smooth working relationship? Are you able and willing to do what it takes?”

If yes, it might help to write it down.

Call it “My Ten Steps For Successful CBO Management”.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another good acronym and enjoyable read. Keep it coming. Thanks Michael.



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