The following article describes a fictitious scenario designed to highlight leadership/managerial issues, from the perspective of the employee. This particular scenario is designed to: illustrate issues that business owners can face, reveal perspectives that the employee may have as well as a myriad of employee processes of thought. I am inviting all LinkedIn industry experts to comment their ideas for solutions. These opinions will be diverse and rich with content that can be gleaned by myself and hopefully you as well - Enjoy!
My name is Sean and my boss is driving me crazy.
I AM OUT OF SHAPE physically, frustrated as hell emotionally and recently, I've become snappy with my wife and kids - all of whom I rarely get to see anymore!
My boss pays me a base salary of £72,000 per annum, and has expectations for me to work 60+ hours per week plus take phone calls in the evenings and on the week ends.
Recently, he's becoming increasingly hostile and demanding, which lends to me being more self-conscious about my work performance and generally more disagreeable to work with.
What do I do?
10 SHORT MONTHS AGO, I was unemployed and golfing with my future boss and his two friends when the discussion shifted to employment. Each described their work place and key frustrations. One of them, Michael, vented about his annoyances with his existing general manager. After a long diatribe on this GM's failures, one of the golfers piped in that maybe I could be the replacement for the heavily criticized colleague. Oh my gosh! What could I say? I was to be offered more money than I have ever made.
The next thing you know, we are drinking lukewarm beer on a sweltering afternoon and I'm about to become the new General Manager for a home building company.
I was excited. I broke 80 on the golf course and had nitrogen pumped into my tires by these men! I left the course skipping. :)
WELL, THE NEXT 3 MONTHS were a blur. My boss, Michael, treated me like gold, coached me tirelessly, made dinner for my wife and I and was encouraging in his words describing my work. There's nothing better than feeling supported, I thought. I had come from absolute ignorance in this industry to competence quite quickly. My attitude was positive, although I was often overwhelmed, and everyone knew I was keen to learn more about industry.
I am out of shape physically, frustrated as hell emotionally and recently, I've become snappy with my wife and kids - all of whom I rarely get to see anymore!
A CHANGE, I NEVER THOUGHT possible was coming like a whirlwind. At first I was driven and worked tirelessly and was supported but then all of a sudden - the tides turned and this season of nourishment abruptly stopped. I soon went from feeling like the point guard leader of the Lakers - to the guy who everyone, as they slip, complains about because he didn't sweep the floor of the court well enough. I was now being pressured, persuaded and exhorted regularly - almost daily.
Michael's increasing expectations were not being met at and all the while they continued growing - growing at a pace that I couldn't keep up with.
When there came a time for me to share my grievance, I was interrupted, flustered, and my petition came out more like a defense! Dammit, only one who is guilty needs a defense - and I don't feel guilty! Am I guilty? Is this truly about me? My hostility was increasing and I was often biting my tongue to prevent from blowing up.
Many other discussion attempts failed as I tried to communicate my exhaustion. Michael would not hear it, he rather suggested I work smarter not harder. Months passed as the cavern between us grew. It seemed as if the more I attempted to keep up, the more mistakes I made.
Couldn't anyone see I was going full out? Trying my best? I wasn't lazy and I certainly wasn't stupid. I just could not keep the pace that was set for me. Maybe he thinks I'm 30 years old like him - instead of 44 like me! Am I too old! Only one question remained...
Should I quit or wait to get the boot?
SOME OF MY FRIENDS told me to quit, others suggested to fight back, I had to make a list of the most pertinent suggestions, for they would be key to my decision:
X. Give up and tell Michael he needs to hire my replacement - I'm tired, burning out and eventually will quit for health reasons anyways so I may as well train someone for him to take over and set his company up for success
Y. Persevere and tell Michael that I need evenings and week ends to recharge in order to maintain health and sanity. Maybe this would restore me to the star point guard position I once held in his mind and at his company.
Z. Fight back and tell him that the pressure wasn't helping. Maybe if he just backed off of me I could perform better. That's how the best lead anyway.
Now that I had written this out, I felt selfish. Was I? What was my next step?
NOBODY IS THINKING ABOUT YOU
Yes, I know, you are certain that your friends are becoming your enemies; that your grocer, garbage man, clergyman, sister-in-law, and your dog are all of the opinion that you have put on weight, that you have lost your touch, that you have lost your mind; furthermore, you are convinced that everyone spends two-thirds of every day commenting on your disintegration, denigrating your work, plotting your assassination. I promise you: Nobody is thinking about you. They are thinking about themselves--just like you.
I spent the next few days moping about wondering how to make the right decision.
What did I do?
Fellow LinkedIn-er's, please tell me...
Employees frequently doubt themselves. They doubt their abilities, competence and that can be debilitating. Perhaps you’ve occasionally asked yourself, "What on earth AM I doing this for?” or “Am I even capable?”.
Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as to what this employee can do! I'm sure many more can learn from you commenting than me alone writing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
David D'Silva is an aspiring writer and story teller. After 20 years in the business world he is authoring pertinent articles that speak to everyday life. David has won awards for excellence in business, and his specialties include adding a personal touch to customer service, managing great people so they feel like a partners not employees, being a solid spokesperson, coaching and being someone you can rely on when you're on a tight deadline. He leads well.
After spending close to 40 years in Regina, SK., he, with his wife Heidi, loaded up their young children Rosario, Brahm and Esaias (and a giant schnauzer Kya) and moved to a grooving windy metropolis, Lethbridge, AB. They love to learn, run, jump, play and on occasion eat great tuna poke.
David can be reached for speaking engagements, lectures, or other teaching opportunities at the following:
David J. D'Silva
PH: (639) 571-7157