If I was hiring a manager to oversee a crew of hard care code writers, I can tell you the first person I would cross off my list: a coder.
I would hire someone skilled at communicating to and motivating humans who write code. This is usually not a coder.
And there’s the reason your next boss won’t be better than the one you have now.
Managers are normally hired for the following reasons:
- They are a celebrity within an industry
- They were the best salesperson on the sales staff
- They are good salespeople who sold HR a bucket of BS about their human interaction theories
Those are the worst possible reasons to make that hire (if the company cares about the people who do the actual work)!
Why wouldn’t you make your best saleswoman on the staff a very highly paid salesperson instead of a manager? These are two completely different skill sets. Why don’t we let them do what they’re great at and compensate them appropriately?
We do not deserve a good boss. This is not an entitlement of our jobs. If you’ve lived a little and have worked at a few jobs it’s possible almost everyone you work with and are managed by are incompetents. Seriously. A perfectly capable, otherwise normal person like you might be the most qualified human in your division or department. This is not a license to get an attitude, by the way. Being smarter doesn’t always make us better.
It’s called life, and you and I are living one.
Your passion for reinvention might include jettisoning a ridiculous boss for a better one. Unless they are sexually harassing you, or physically harming you, there’s a decent chance you’re going to get another dud.
How to deal?
- Understand they might be doing the best they know how. Start with empathy.
- Manage your manager. You’re allowed to create boundaries and set expectations. Your boss might be thrilled to hear this from you!
- Learn to let their idiocy or lack of knowledge wash off of you. Most of the time they just want the project done; they don’t want to kill you in the process. If the boss is always moving the goal, next time ask for a specific goal and timeline.
- Walk a mile in their shoes. Is your boss getting hammered from above, resulting in a culture where the shit rolls downhill? That’s not totally your manager’s fault.
- Seek support on how to have conversations with your boss, from people outside your industry and company. Don’t whine in the hallways with co workers.
You think you’d be a great leader? Be careful what you wish for. The job you think you could do so much better than your current manager might end up being the biggest nightmare of your career.
Now that we’ve dealt with your bad boss, here’s what you might do if one of your co-workers is a sociopath.
John Scott is the Career Services Manager and an instructor at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University, San Francisco. His latest book “You. Employed: why winners get jobs” is in the Amazon book store.