My Boss Won’t Let Me Is The Best Cop Out

It’s too easy to say “my boss won’t let me”.

It lets you hide from any risk or responsibility.

It lets you tell your buddies; this would’ve been great, if only…

It lets you believe you are great without having to prove it.

I’m often amazed by how many community pros walk away from great companies because they didn’t get everything they demanded.

Are there many organizations that will give a new employee everything they demand? I doubt it.

I have a friend onto his 3rd company within 14 months. Each time he walked away within 3 months claiming “my boss wouldn’t let me do {x}, so I quit”.

You can keep jumping from one organization to the next if you like. You might even get lucky and find the one boss in a thousand who will cede such control to you upon demands. But we can agree it’s unlikely and no way to build a career.

The other option is to confront the two impossible choices.

1) You can get used to doing things without asking. If it works, you’re a hero. If it fails, it’s your head (maybe). You take all the risk and you get the reward if it works.

2) You can learn to get your boss’ support. This is harder. You need to get good at building relationships, learn what your boss needs and solve her problems first. You need to build a reputation for executing on what you say, build a decent case, and drive an emotional narrative.

Neither option is easy. The easy thing is to walk away and start again somewhere else.

Ultimately you’re going to need to decide which of these two options matters most to you. You need to decide how you’re going to act when your request gets turned down. Are you going to put everything on the line to do something great or muddle on through? Are you going to walk away from your community when things get hard or fight for your community?

You’re not going to find a boss that will hand you a blank check. Time for plan B.

Comments

  1. Frank Field says:

    When it comes to what my members want, my boss, happily, lets me blame him for darn near everything.
    But to your point of walking away from the job... Ouch. You're going to force me to examine myself and my behavior? You're going to make me ask myself the hard questions? You're not going to pat me on the back and tell me I'm great? I don't get a trophy for participating? Aw, maaaaaann!
    OK, FINE. :::kicks pepple::: I'll ask myself some hard questions. But I reserve the right to bolt if I know that I can't save my community from ruin.
    Deal?
    :slight_smile:

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