My Boss Sucks! What do I do?

Does having a boss suck?

Well, that depends doesn't it?

If you have a boss who supports you, encourages you to reach higher levels, and cares about your emotional well-being, then it can be a very rewarding experience.

Great joy can be found when you identify the right leader who's cause you can support.

On the other hand, a boss who restricts your creativity, provides poor or inadequate training, or doesn't provide for the social and health requirements of their employees can make life a living you know what!

So what do we do?

Traditional thinking would suggest that bosses manage employees, but after decades of research we've learned that leadership is not inherited through position or title, but through character.

Have you ever known someone to be a great leader in an organization who wasn't the "boss"? Perhaps you are that leader?

But what about managing upward? Can you "Manage Your Boss"?

Russell provided 4 Great Tips in in his video released back in February discussing how you can do just that.

Let's review those...

1. Understand their "Why"

Everyone is motivated by something. Do you know what your boss is motivated by?

Is it money? Position? Service?

Once you understand "why" your boss emphasizes certain activities or requirements over others you can begin to steer conversations and work activities much more effectively.

2. Help Them

Not to sound flippant, but work getting done makes most bosses happy!

Look, we can cry all night about your boss' lack of communication skills, arrogant attitude, and all the other things that make them a "bad boss", but do we not sometimes use that as an excuse to simply NOT do what we're being paid to do?

Once we've taken the time to extrapolate exactly what our boss needs from us in order to accomplish objectives, our energies should be devoted to the accomplishment of those objectives.

Real progress towards real objectives could be exactly what's needed to spark an attitude change in THEM!

3. Don't Stoop to their Level

"But my boss really is an a**hole!" I can hear you cry. "I work hard, we're doing a great job and he still does/says/acts like xyz!"

It's true, some bosses are divisive, or bullies, or some other Category of Bad Bosses.

But don't stoop to that level - take the high road...

Your own personal brand depends upon it.

Your career in terms of where you're going, not just within that organization but in the future, depends on you staying true to yourself.

This isn't to say you should be a door mat or turn a blind eye towards injustice.

We should all stay in our best character and speak up when something is wrong.

But we should never respond to disrespect with disrespect, or be a "teachers pet" who latches onto the "bully train" when someone is being singled out. We should always take the high road.

4. Be Proactive

One of the best ways to deal with a bad boss is to never get hired by one. Do your research before taking a job and even during those first few weeks of "grace time" to be sure that you CAN work for that person.

If you already have that bad boss, this still applies. Go through the steps above to identify not only what your boss needs but also what she wants! Work hard to get ahead of the game in those key areas, and through it all, hold on to your best character.

If your boss needs even more help than this, then maybe you could discreetly send them some of these cool articles detailing how to be a more effective Coach using our proven C.O.A.C.H Model.

Until then, you'd better get back to work before someone come around!

36 views0 comments

"Bluegem Learning & Development and Corporate Culture Shift have presented two very effective and interactive workshops with our organization. Their comedic and engaging presentation style in the ‘Managing the Unmanageable’ workshop has left a lasting impression on our staff. I highly recommend this workshop if you are looking for a valuable, cost effective customer service training option."

- Jeff Gerestein, City of Brooks

"Russell produced a highly engaging HR programme that reflected our organisational issues. He is without doubt an outstanding training deliverer, challenging managers to address what can be difficult HR issues. I highly recommend Russell, and would always seek to engage Russell on future learning development opportunities."

- Sharon Gartland, DSG Consultancy Services

Keyboard and Mouse
Glass Buildings

Russell Stratton

Leadership Champion

RUSSELL STRATTON is an international Leadership Expert, Professionally Certified Trainer and Coach, with a Masters Degree in Human Resource Management. He is co-author of the book 'I Need to F@#king Talk To You - The Art Of Navigating Difficult Workplace Conversations'.


He is a Master Facilitator for Bluegem Learning's ground breaking "Leadership Success" workshop series - providing a practical toolkit for building engagement and improving individual and team performance. Using live actors in a stop/start forum theatre approach and a combination of dynamic experiential learning techniques, participants come away with a greater ability to actually perform better as employees and leaders in your organization.


He is an accomplished management education, learning & development professional with a proven track record of working with clients in the public, voluntary and private sectors to achieve lasting, measurable step changes in business performance.


Russell works internationally with a wide range of organizational cultures and with all levels from front line customer facing staff to executive management boards. Having worked as both a Personnel Manager and Operational Manager he works at both strategic and tactical levels.

#300, 160 Quarry Park Blvd.  Calgary,

AB,  T2C 3G3

  • Russell Stratton on LinkedIn
  • Bluegem Learning on Twitter
  • Bluegem Learning on Facebook
  • Russel Stratton on Instagram