Challenge the Boss or Stand Down
THOMAS set predictable problems that he failed to forestall. Instead of further poisoning his relationship with his boss by seeking to “expose” him, Tom should now start to repair the damage he’s done to both his professional relationships and his career prospects. Tom’s ﬁrst mistake was in neglecting to consider that he was not his boss’s choice for the position of senior marketing specialist. From the outset he should have recognized the signiﬁcance of that initial strike against him and, therefore, should have made it a top priority to earn Frank’s trust right away. But he did just the opposite: failing to deliver an important report on time and not keeping Frank informed about his work in general. Most glaringly, he challenged his boss’s authority publicly. Tom may believe that hierarchy doesn’t matter so much in today’s corporate world, but bosses still love the sort of deference that validates their status.
Tom’s second mistake was in assuming that merely articulating his impression of the competitive threat from web-based offerings would immediately change the minds of his boss and others in the organization. Tom spent virtually no time building the close social ties with people that would give him the credibility to convince them of his perspective. For example, after his promotion, Tom didn’t brief Shannon on what he had learned and accomplished in his new role. She had no way of knowing about the contributions he was making and thus had little reason to continue to support him. Her only information about Tom was the negative feedback she had been seeing from Frank TOM CAN’T change his boss; he can only change himself. If Tom wants to succeed in his new job, he needs to forget about what anyone else “should” do and focus on his own actions. Tom has some truly valuable points and direction. He's even touched on the strategies of what will make things happen directionally that will work better. It may be in this...
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