Dealing with a Difficult Boss
Dealing with a difficult boss is one those things most of us will have to do. Hopefully not forever, as your goal should be to start your own business and be your own boss. In the meantime, you need to deal with difficult bosses in the best way possible. This doesn’t mean you can just try to “out alpha” your boss and take over. You’ll get fired for this shit. Instead you need to look at your situation and see what kind of moves you can make.
How much leverage does your boss have over you?
Your boss already has more leverage over you, that’s why they’re the boss. But how much leverage they have over is dependent on a lot of factors.
Personally, are you in any debt? Have a mortgage or car payments? Or have kids that you need every pay check for. Then you don’t have a lot of leverage. Which means you’ll need to stay in your nice beta role for now.
But do you have no debt, no major responsibilities, and a savings? Better yet, have a freedom fund of 50k or 100k in the bank? Have a side business that can cover your bills? Then your boss has a lot less leverage over your personal life.
You shouldn’t actually tell your boss they have a lot of leverage or none at all over your personal life. It’s something you take a mental note of. The more you need the job, the more you need to be a beta and suck up. The less you need to the job the more you can be authentic and deal with a difficult boss in a more masculine way.
How bad is your Difficult Boss?
Is your boss a tyrant? Or are they a good person who just gets overwhelmed?
If your boss is a true tyrant, which many bosses are, then it’s best not to sit down with them and have a real talk. Your priority right now should be to start a side business and make money with it. At your job, you need to beta and suck up to this boss until you can quit. There’s no winning here besides just keeping the job as long as you need before you earned your freedom.
Offer to do more
On the flip side, you might have a difficult boss who actually is a good, cool person, but just has a lot on their plate. If this is the case, then you can talk with your boss. Offer them value by either doing better at your job or opting to take on some additional responsibility. This will put you on good terms with them and set yourself up for a raise, promotion, etc. If anything your boss will be more dependent on you, which means you’re less likely to get fired because they need you.
Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t what I recommend to you guys long term. It can be the path for some of you, however it will be draining for a man who desires independence to have to submit to another man. But it can be useful to rise up and get more leadership experience before you start your own business. And if you can learn more skills that will add to your ability to make money on your own in the future then that’s a huge win.
Kill it at your job – become more valuable
You’re always replaceable at a job, never forget that. Even if the company starts to fail without you, every company will think they can move on without you.
But what you can do is become so valuable that your difficult boss doesn’t want to let you go. Even if they don’t like you, it’s hard to fire an employee whose killing it. Because a boss, especially if they’re the owner of the business, knows the value of a good employee.
Most employees clock out right when they’re off and do the bare minimum to keep the job they hate.
When you’re killing and providing real value, you’re making the company rich. Especially if you’re in sales and only taking home 10% of what you bring in and you’re the top sales rep. If you’re in marketing, then you can become valuable by having the best advertising campaigns that bring in the most leads. Or if you’re an engineer you can code the best code that solves the biggest problems.
Smart engineers that work can get paid a shit ton and have a lot of leverage. Especially if you’re on the cutting edge of machine learning and all of the AI algorithms.
There’s always an angle to provide more value. When you do that, you can more leverage over your difficult boss. If they own the company then they’ll definitely see your direct value. And even if they’re just a middle management boss, they’ll see that you make them look good to their bosses. Which in turn makes you more valuable and a greater asset to the company.
You might get treated better because of this. But don’t necessarily expect it. What you want is leverage so you’re needed. Do this by being the best at your job.
There’s probably people in your company you can make allies with. Does your boss have a boss that you can make allies with? Or maybe your boss’s wife comes around and you can get her to like you. Or you can get the best clients of the company to like you and say great things about you. Even fellow employees can have some influence because they make up the majority of the company culture.
Make allies where you can and don’t burn bridges if you don’t need to. The more allies you have, the harder it is for a difficult boss to give you shit. They probably will still give you shit, but this protects you from worse case scenarios. When the boss knows that all the other employees like you and clients like you, it’s hard to get rid of you.
Ideally, you’re also making an alley out of your boss. Don’t make allies with everyone with the intention if making your boss jealous. Try to get on their good side too if possible.
Don’t have a boss
If you’ve been reading this, you’ve likely realized that all of these methods for dealing with a difficult boss are just about not getting fired.
There’s not a lot of help I’ve given you besides suck up a little bit, do your job well, and be liked by everyone.
That’s because that’s all you can really do. You can gain as much leverage as possible. But in the end, your boss still has more leverage. Because they’re the boss. Be definition they’re in charge and can fire you. You’re in the submissive position. This can be eased if you have a boss that’s really cool. But it’s rare to have a boss whose compassionate and also driven enough to compete at the highest level.
You can’t change a boss, let alone a difficult boss. You can only survive and get by a little bit better. However, you can’t make ducking your difficult boss your main goal forever. It’s a temporary fix.
The best way to deal with a difficult boss is to get rid of them. You do that by becoming your own boss and not having to work for someone else. Because while you may hate having a boss, you’re dependent on them to make money. They’re giving you money to do a job. You can talk shit and some of it or all of it may be justified. But your boss or the company you work for is still feeding you. And in order to make sure you never need to worry about a difficult boss again, you need to work for yourself. Even the best best bosses will be difficult bosses at some point. And many bosses will always just be terrible.
Stop bitching – become your own boss
That’s why it’s better to be your own boss. You can be ethical with your employees if you choose to expand and hire others. Or you can just be a solo entrepreneur. Either way, business ownership is the only way to guarantee you never have a difficult boss again.
But don’t quit your job just yet. Keep that income coming in. What you need to do is :
- start a side business
- work an extra 20-40 hours a week
- make money with it and save like crazy
- then quit your job
I’ve talked about this in numerous articles, and will do so until all of you do it.
This is how you become financially free. You need to start your own business on the side. Find something you love, and figure out a way to provide value to people. Then you’ll be able to make money and create a business around it.
It will take grinding for at least 2 years before you can quit your job. Maybe 1.5 years if you’re lucky, and maybe 3 or 4 if you’re not lucky. And that’s working 20-40 extra hours, on top of your regular 40-50 hours at your job. But that’s what it takes to become your own boss. It’s better to be your own difficult boss than have another person as your difficult boss. You can work yourself like a horse, but then treat yourself out and enjoy your work. When you have another person as a difficult boss, you’re under their control.
And as a grown ass man, you’re never going to be happy having a difficult boss. Fuck that shit. Take control of your life and build your own business. Build your own legacy. Start now.