Are You Being Held Back By A Selfish Boss?

— November 24, 2016

We all know how challenging it can be working for a tough boss. Some may even go as far as saying they’re horrible bosses (check out the movie for a few laughs)! But aren’t bosses really looking out for your best interests? Don’t they want to help you grow and guide your career to new heights? Of course they do! Bosses provide you the necessary exposure and challenges that help you tap into your true potential. And that’s why you get rewarded for your awesome performance, right? In theory, it may be true, but sometimes, you may end up working for a selfish boss.

At some point in your career you may have worked for a selfish boss. Someone who’s just looking out for their own interests and “using” the team for their benefit. While you’re trying to do the right thing, it becomes hard when your boss has an agenda of their own. While their agenda’s vary, what remains common is that a selfish boss simply isn’t looking out for you. Here are some of these agendas.

1. You’re My Most Trusted Team Member

Sure it’s great to hear that from your boss as it does wonders for our confidence, but are you really the only one who’s heard this line? Chances are your other team members have heard the same about themselves so there really isn’t just ONE of you who’s the bosses most trusted. But if you were to put self-glory aside and really read between the lines what it spells out is a boss who’s just “playing” with the team’s emotions. Here the selfish boss wants to keep using your skills and abilities without really caring about your true talent. You could say they’re falsely charming you though they really don’t have any intention of growing your career.

Just to be clear, it’s not always like this. Some bosses genuinely value your contributions, but the ones that are selfish praise you just to stroke your ego and give you the false impression that they know your worth.

2. Leaves You Out In The Cold

Well not literally, but there are some bosses who’ll abandon their teams when things get a little rough. These bosses often take credit for the team’s awesome performance and when things aren’t going too well, will blame the team, or a few team members, for not being able to deliver.

A sign of a good leader and boss is their ability to absorb pressure and criticism and not let it seep through to the team. They should be guardians of the team for external parties. Of course what goes on within the team could be completely different as leaders are responsible for their team’s performance. Hence, they could make all the changes and reprimands that are necessary. But in the eyes of anyone from outside the team, the leader should be taking ownership. Yet a selfish boss isn’t unheard of in such situations.

3. Is An Obstacle To Growth

Ever notice how the talented and hardworking individuals always end up getting more work? Some may say it’s really not true, but if you think of it from your boss’s perspective, why wouldn’t they give more work to someone they rely on and who they know will get the work done – and that even, get it done well. These are the “go-to talents” – individuals who a boss turns to because they know they’re that good and will deliver. And for the individual, it’s a confidence booster because you know your boss relies on you. You’re the star in the team.

So what’s the harm in that? Well on the surface it’s really not a bad thing to be the “go-to talent”. But then come the situations when your boss holds you back from a workshop or training because they have something important for you to do. Then they feed you negatives about other bosses and how miserable their team members are with the hidden agenda of preventing you from even considering switching even if it’s a career booster for you. Basically, they’ll go to lengths to keep you in their team. You’ll get promoted every now and then, but you’ll never really grow too much as they want to keep you around working under them. Needless to say, such bosses are truly selfish.

Fortunately, you always have a choice – continue to work for a tough and selfish boss or look for other opportunities. No one really can force you to work for someone. It all comes down to what you think is the best option for your career. An option where you’re growing, learning and happy working at.

Business & Finance Articles on Business 2 Community

Author: Paul Keijzer

View full profile ›