How to change my bad boss?

If you’ve got a undervalued job, quit it. If you enjoy it but your boss is incompetent (of course, it’s your think, not necessarily the reality), you can try to change this unpleasant situation.


Your boss is a bad strategist – Take a life raft and leave Titanic before hitting an iceberg. Otherwise, he is just a bad leader you can accompany.
In my career, I’d worked with numerous inspiring boss but also with numerous not-so-inspiring ones. At the beginning, I’d just quited the organization. With years, I’ve learned that a boss is just a person that I can make him better. Think your boss as a difficult customer. You must meet his requirements. So, you can adapt your behaviors to make understand your boss that without him you are doing nothing.

I’m going to give you few tools to help you on your way regardless of the different (and difficult) personalities you will inevitably have to encounter throughout your working life.

1 – Understand his expectations and motivators

No, your boss is not only motivate by power and money. Each person acts differently in similar situations. Your boss is not different. It’s important to understand his behaviors and reactions. Try to put yourself in his shoes and see the world, and your workplace, as they might.

Watch carefully his workplace and the internal interactions (family, hierarchy, hobbies…) : What are you watching ? What are you feeling ? What are you listening ? What part of your belief system is engaged? What are your filters?

Then, imagine you on this chair : now, What are you watching ? What are you listening ? What are you feeling ? (What does he care about? What keeps him up at night? What would he love more of and what would he love less of on a daily basis? What frightens him? How much importance does he place on impressing others? How does he measure success and what does he think about failure?).

This exercice give you the double benefit of having perceived the situation in the same way as your boss and therefore have a better understanding of its, but also to provide reinsurance that enhances the relationship, frame your opinions and use language in way that line up with his core values, concerns and priorities.

2 – Empathize your boss : create a positive communication anchor

You can now define the empathy map. This tool allows to answer accurately to basic questions :

Do your work and your added value solve the real problems of your boss ?
Does your boss pay for your results ?
How does your boss wish you to come into contact with him ?

You know your communication strategy to make your boss better. This strategy can fidelize your boss and enhance the confidence. Create a positive communication anchor is important to eliminate tensions and to make you a support for his own performances.
If you are unable to establish this trust relationship, the following steps will have no result.

You have identified motivators, needs, expectations of your boss, you have defined your strategy, a common language to build confidence. That’s time to help your boss !


3 – Strengthen the leadership of your boss

The reputation of your boss may damage your own one. It may be no intuitive to support a bad boss in becoming more successful but there is absolutely nothing to be gained by facilitating his failures.
In reality, the organization may be damaged by his incompetence.

First, you must help your boss focus on his natural strengths. Self-esteem will be strengthened and he will be more self-confident. Work relations will be less strained and you can begin to establish a work environnement conducive to the well-being of all (including yours and you boss’ one).

You should also understand that the stress of your boss is generated by experimenting with its weaknesses. Secondly, you can try to work around his weaknesses. By doing what you can to help your boss succeed, you lay a solid foundation for greater success yourself. It may not be an immediate reward, but in the long run, you can never lose by helping others do better than they otherwise would.

4 – Be an example : adapt to your boss

Look no excuse for the bad results of your team, organization or yourself. Show the example in acting like the leader you wish your boss was.
For this purpose, you must adapt to his behaviors : the more you can match your style to your boss’s style when communicating, the more he will really hear what you’re saying. Working with his preferences is an obvious way of managing your boss without his ever knowing it, and it’s a key leadership skill to develop regardless of the kind of boss you are working for.

5 – Give your boss a chance to communicate

If you feel undervalued in an toxic work environment, speak up to your boss. Franchise is a quality much appreciated by bosses. Don’t prejudge your boss awares the situation. Conversation is the first step to a solution. When you approach him with respect and with a genuine desire to make things work better, you can open the door to whole new levels of trust, collaboration and outcomes.

6 – Stand tall and don’t be intimidated

Incompetent boss gets his power from fear. Don’t never cower if you’re doing the best job you can do. Don’t give him the satisfaction of pushing you about. Explain your point of view arguing your results. Sure, it’s important to stand strong, but be smart about it.

7 – Evaluate how your boss be better

Your boss has become better and you can evaluate it by some following indicators : sound level in workplace, your level of well-being, the recognition of your team and your boss, a privileged relationship, the reduction in time spent to link your boss and your team, less stress, the decrease in the number of incendiary e-mails…

Great job, you make your bad boss better. And now ? Are you sure you’re a good leader for your team ?


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