Newsletter: Do You Work for the Boss from Hell?

I do. My boss is very upset with me these days.

What?! You didn’t post to the blog last month – at all?!
I thought we worked that out.
And you missed a newsletter too?!
And the web updates aren’t done either?
So we’ve still got copy up there that says “skills you need to succeed”?
(She has a pet peeve about rhyming cliches.)
What about new course development?
Not finished either?! We started that project months ago!
For crying out loud, what have you been doing all day?
Tweeting? What the?
Oh, never mind. I don’t want to hear it.
When I say I want it done, I expect you to find a way to get it done.
I’m running a business here. I don’t pay people to give me excuses.
I don’t care what it takes, just make it happen. Now.

She doesn’t understand.

All those things we put into motion? They’re doing great!
We’re busy in the ways we hoped for. It’s really exciting.
But it takes a lot of support and maintenance to keep them moving forward.
She doesn’t see that.
She doesn’t see all the day-to-day stuff that needs handling.
She just sees the next big thing.
She has no idea what it’s like down here in the trenches.
She thinks it’s all so fast and easy and simple.
If she only knew. I mean, sheesh, I’m only human.
I wish she appreciated me more.
I wish she would ask me how we’re going to manage things before we start them.
I have some good ideas about that.
I wish she would give me the chance to explain them, but she’s always so busy with her big ideas.
Sigh.

These are terrible working conditions.

I would quit and find a new boss if I could. (And she would fire me and find a new worker bee if she could.) But we’re stuck with each other. So it looks like we’re going to have to improve our communication skills – maybe go on a team-building retreat – and learn to better cooperate.

Does this sound familiar?

Is the part of you that does the brainstorming and planning – the part that determines direction – not getting along with the part of you that implements those plans? The part that updates the website and replies to the emails and processes the invoices and manages the calendar – and at least tries to take breaks long enough to pee and get a snack?

The need for staff meetings.

These two sides of you need to talk. Regularly.

When the big-picture part of you is all excited about a new idea (or is freaked out about the low balance in your bank account), there has to be a time and space when the implementation part of you gets a say in how things are going to be carried out.

A time and space when Idea You can get Doer You all pumped up about the big picture, and Doer You can remind Idea You to think about the details and stay grounded in a realistic pace. A time and space when they can argue and push back on each other, back and forth, until they reach an agreement they both feel good about.

That dialogue is part of business. It deserves time on your calendar. Because, even though these two parts of you work side-by-side everyday, they aren’t necessarily talking. They are each too busy, too preoccupied with their own jobs, to want to pay attention to the other, let alone do so in a respectful and productive way.

It’s not going to happen by itself. So schedule a weekly staff meeting. And make it nice. Bring some donuts and coffee. Maybe buy some new markers for the white board. There’s no reason it can’t be fun.

I bet you and your boss can get along pretty darn well given the opportunity. Then who knows what you might accomplish together?

Yeah. Just imagine…

I think I’ll buy my boss some flowers. She’s the one taking the risks and, well, I just want to show her that I appreciate what she’s been doing to put us out there. Maybe I’ll invite her out for a latte too – I bet she needs a break as much as I do – and maybe we can talk about what’s next…

Learn how Doer You and Idea You can both benefit and better get along through using systems. Join me for a free teleclass March 18: Write It Down! How to use a business manual to reduce chaos, improve your creativity, and increase your bottom line.

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