Horrible Bosses

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Dear Dharma,

I recently changed positions in my job to a more challenging role that reports directly to the Finance Director.

My new boss told me going in that there would be challenges with communication and processes but I didn’t expect them to all come from the CFO. My new boss was making progress in breaking down some of these barriers and was doing a great job getting Finance to work as a team, but then he shared with me that he is actively seeking new employment elsewhere because of the challenges with the CFO.

This will be a hard position to fill and I will be directly reporting to the CFO while they search for a replacement. I have worked with him before but find it extremely frustrating; he’s a quiet, undemanding, un-instructional (is that even a word?) type who answers you without answering anything at all. I’m worried my tasks will not be a priority for him to review, and that my work will suffer along with the rest of the Finance team in general.

I am not ready to leave the company and I don’t want to see our progress slip backwards. Do you have any advice on how to work with this type of personality?

Frustrated in Finance

Dear Frustrated,

I have a feeling I will be using Horrible Bosses as the title for more than one of these posts.

I love when someone answers a question but what they say leaves no residue.  I call that being Sarah Palin’d.  A nice long string of nonsensical voluminous verbiage presented like truth and 5 minutes later you walk away going huh? WTF did squirrels have to do with anything???

Right now you still have access to your current boss.  He obviously understands your concerns, so sit down with him and hammer out an action plan to determine the best way to handle things while his position is in flux.  Be calm, assertive and make it clear you want to get in front of the impending problems.

Identify any other resources you can use in his absence, and different ways to tackle things when the CFO drops the ball.  Like, are there ways you can just side step his involvement in attempts to keep things moving forward?

Once your boss has moved on, maybe address the CFO directly about your concerns without making it about how much he sucks.  Acknowledge the great changes as of late and ask what role you can play in keeping things on track during this transition.  Tell him what you feel the department needs to keep the work flow cycling, like direction and prompt feedback.  It might not go anywhere, but at least you know you’ve said it out loud.

I’ve learned there is often little you can do to change someone else’s behavior, but a whole lot you can do to change your own.  What the CFO does is out of your hands, but I really think this is a great opportunity for you to display your leadership skills. Who knows where this could take you! Lemons to lemonade, my friend…

Dharma

 

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