Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Magazine article Management Today

What's Your Problem?

Article excerpt

You're not surrendering - you're making a sensible, grown-up decision to find a better job

I get the distinct impression that I'm being managed out of my job. My boss has started setting me ridiculous targets, which are impossible to meet, and he's being offish with me. What can I do about it? Should I stick it out or make a run for it?

There are certain individuals, luckily not that many, who develop irrational and groundless aversions for other human beings. And when the aversion is held by a senior person, there's nothing that the luckless object of that aversion can do about it. Attempting to counter such irrationality with an appeal to reason is doomed to failure.

The danger for you is this. Although you know with an absolute certainty that the targets your boss is setting you are objectively impossible to meet, you'll nonetheless be left with a wholly unjustified feeling of failure. And if this goes on, your self-confidence will take such a battering that it could take you some time to recover.

So please don't see this unpleasant situation as somehow a test of your character. 'Sticking it out' would be pointless - and possibly damaging But equally, don't feel you're 'making a run for it'. You're not surrendering - you're making a sensible, grown-up decision to find a better job. Take your time.

Don't rush it. But don't waver.

My team just ran a brilliant two-day conference and I'd like to find a way of rewarding them. What are the best ways to say well done without spending too much cash?

If they can invent and run a brilliant two-day conference, they should also be able to invent and run a brilliant success celebration. So determine a budget - as generous as you can afford and justify - and then trust them implicitly to spend it inventively. Their only brief is for themselves to be delighted by the treat they conceive. The fact that you make this budget available to them is concrete evidence of your gratitude; and the fact that you trust them to spend it, without supervision, is evidence of your confidence in them.

It's a bit of an act of faith, undoubtedly, but I'd be amazed if they let you down. (And if they don't all delight in the treat they've devised, they'll have learned a useful lesson - and you won't be held responsible.)

I'm the youngest member of our board and am already sick to death of our monthly board meetings. They're long and dull and no one enjoys them; I spotted one colleague nodding off to sleep in the last one. …

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