Confronting your boss the right way

Cynicism is not realistic and tough.  It’s unrealistic and kind of cowardly because it means you don’t have to try.  (Noonan)

“You don’t have the guts to fire me,” he told the president.   The company president left and took a 30 minute timeout.  Upon returning the boss said, “Do you want to say anything?”  The answer, “No. I’m right.”  The reply was, “You’re fired. You have half an hour to clean out your desk.”

The guy was shocked.  In his heart of hearts he knew he was right so he made a few calls to shareholders to get support.  In half an hour the boss returned and said, “I gave you half an hour and you are not gone yet.  You can walk to the door with me now, or I can call the police.”

It’s a true story.  I recruited his replacement, who is still there.

Here are the mistakes this guy made:

  1. He challenged his boss’s authority
  2. He called his boss a coward
  3. No apology was offered for vicious insubordination
  4. An open attempt to create a mutiny was started
  5. There was no backing down.

How do you deal with your boss’s mistakes?  I admit I have done every single one of these wrong things to a boss or two of mine in the past.  Luckily my rebellion was much milder.  I never got fired for it.  I didn’t get promoted either.

Some great ways to confront your boss are in How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  You will find it enlightening.

Don’t see if you can get fired.


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