Connect with us

Change Your Mindset

How to Thrive and Survive When You Work for a Bad Boss

Let’s face it, we all have worked for a bad boss.  It doesn’t, however, need to be total misery every day. 



Image Credit: Unsplash

Being a good leader of others matters now more than ever.  Great leaders have regular one-on-ones with their staff, they give and seek feedback, they set goals, and communicate progress regularly.  Yet, nearly all of us have worked for a bad leader: someone who doesn’t have time for us, always has a “better” way of doing an assigned task, creates last minute emergency work for the team, and have limited availability to speak with us about project work, or more importantly our career.

Adam Grant, a renown organizational psychologist at Wharton Business school reminds us, “bad bosses keep people stuck in the same job; good bosses create opportunities to grow and advance.”  Statistics from 2022 research at DDI, a leadership consulting firm, found that 57% of employees who leave their jobs, leave because they can’t stand their boss.  

Forbes recently identified four key behaviors bad bosses demonstrate that encourage employees to leave their job:  they diminish employees by micromanaging them, they don’t solicit employee input, they encourage agreement while discouraging dissent, and they can’t be bothered to remove obstacles.  

Further, reports that forty-seven percent of new supervisors receive no supervisor training before being promoted. And, according to the Corporate Executive Board, sixty percent of new managers fail within their first 24 months.

I remember one bad boss I had.  The signs were there before I started:  interviews kept getting rescheduled, even after I showed up! The offer was weeks in making and wrong when I received it.  My manager loved being in charge, but he didn’t want to do the work that came with it.  He rarely spent time with any of us individually because he was too busy billing client hours. 

“You are not your resume, you are your work.” — Seth Godin

He handed off work that was uninteresting and low profile.  One time, he wanted to represent my work at another firm as work of his own.  Needless to say, I left after 9 months.  

I start my leadership programs by asking participants to think of a great leader they’ve worked for.  What did they do that was so compelling?  Inevitably, someone says, “what if you never worked for a good boss?”  Everyone laughs, but sadly it’s true!  Why?  Most likely it’s because organizations don’t take time to develop their aspiring leaders.  

So, you feel stuck.  You work for one of these bad managers, yet you enjoy your work and connect to the company’s mission.  Below are some tips for working with a difficult, even bad manager. These allow you to get you through the experience and continue to learn for yourself along the way.

Take the lead yourself. 

All employees deserve regular interactions with their employees.  These interactions can’t only focus on the work and tasks at hand, they must also focus on you.  Here’s a simple framework for a 1:1 with your boss:  Describe how you’re doing and your well-being.  If you feel constantly overworked, say so.  

Share recent accomplishments.  Discuss what you learned and what you’d do differently next time.  Discuss your challenges and describe ways you can address them, ask your manager to help.  Agree on next steps.  

If this isn’t happening regularly, take the lead.  Schedule 30 minutes with your manager every other week.  Be prepared and send a list of topics like the ones above.  

Find a stress outlet.  

Work out, spend time in nature, work on a hobby, create art, journal, meditate – whatever it takes to keep yourself grounded. Self-care is essential.

Don’t go it alone.  

Find a group of people you can safely talk to about the situation so you can stay sane while trying to make things work. For those who need to talk things out, having a safe place to do so is critical.  Consider talk therapy.  Sometimes it’s not only your manager’s problem; you might be experiencing a rough patch in your life and difficult interactions with your boss make it worse.  

Most employers have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) included in their benefits.  The resources they recommend are usually covered by your benefit plan and your conversation with them will be completely confidential.  

Be clear about your goals.  

You work with someone who isn’t particularly supportive and even difficult, so take a moment to describe for yourself why you like your job.  You are a smart and capable person, but even the best of the best can be beaten down by tough situations and tough people. 

Avoid fighting so hard and long that you lose who you are in the process.  What are you learning from it?  Even if you work for a bad boss but are learning every day and doing engaging work, the bad boss can be tolerable.  

Find a mentor inside your organization.  

Mentors are usually more senior than you and in a different department.  They understand the politics of the organization and “how we do things here.”  Their insight may help you understand your own manager better. Avoid complaining about your manager to your mentor; it’s just bad form.  

Instead, focus on your aspirations.  Your mentor may even suggest other roles in the organization that you could pursue.  While most senior leaders love to mentor, they won’t reach out to you, so you need to reach out to them.  

Talk to HR if it gets too bad.  

Foul language, sexual innuendos, or just not being available are never acceptable behaviors.  Talk to HR about your challenges.  If you are experiencing a bad boss, most likely others have too.  They will keep your information confidential, but most likely not tell you what actions they might take, because these are confidential issues too.  

Find another role in the company.  

You love the company, but hate your boss?  Seek out other roles inside the company.  Some organizations require you to work in a role for a year before seeking another role so that may limit your options.  You are far better off, however, staying at the company you know than moving to another that you don’t know.  

Know when to cut bait. 

There may come a time when you have had enough. That is OK. This does not make you a quitter; it makes you a survivor. Update your LinkedIn profile; let others find you.  Interact on LinkedIn regularly by finding new connections in organizations you admire. 

Remember:  you don’t have to take a job just because it’s offered to you!  Getting that offer may give you peace of mind to know you have value in the market.

Don’t make the same mistake twice. 

When we end up working for a bad boss, we can often look back and see signs of trouble even before we took the job.  Interview your potential manager after the offer is extended:  What are the goals for the team?  Tell me about your 1:1s. What are your team meetings like?  These questions will give you insights into the role you are moving into, so you avoid a bad manager again.  

Let’s face it, we all have worked for a bad boss.  It doesn’t, however, need to be total misery every day.  Get clear on your professional aspirations and assess whether they are being met, despite your bad boss.  Initiate regular 1:1 check-ins with your boss; aim to broaden the conversation from “what have you done for me lately,” to “here’s a bit more about me and what I’m interested in.”

Janet Polach is a retired Marine officer, as such, she knows a thing or two about what it takes to be a great leader.  She holds a Ph.D. in leadership development and has assisted hundreds of leaders across the globe find their leadership voice in a noisy world.  Her no-nonsense but lighthearted approach creates transformational results for even the most struggling leaders.  She would be delighted to connect with you for a FREE 90-minute coaching conversation to uncover a key issue that is holding you back and create a plan to move you forward.  Janet can be reached at,

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Change Your Mindset

The Art of Convincing: 10 Persuasion Techniques That Really Work

The knack for persuading others can act as a catalyst for change, open doors, forge alliances, and effect positive change



how to be more persuasive

Persuasion is not as complicated as it may sound. In fact, it is something that we have been practicing since childhood. Do you remember convincing your parents to let you skip school, asking your teacher not to assign homework, or persuading your boss to give you a day off? Well, these are just small examples of what persuasion looks like. (more…)

Continue Reading

Personal Development

5 Key Reasons Why Perfectionist’s Procrastinate



Procrastination Perfectionist Patterns

Hey there! I’m Joel Brown, a procrastination mindset specialist. In my world, it’s all about guiding my students through repatterning exercises to break free from the shackles that prevent them from scaling new heights in life.

Now, you might hear ‘perfectionist’ and think, “Ah, they’re destined for success!” But here’s the real deal: perfectionism is far from a superpower. It’s a sneaky villain in disguise, sapping emotional and physical strength, disrupting sleep, and fueling an endless cycle of rumination—all in the pursuit of getting everything ‘just right.’ This relentless chase is what we call the ‘Obsessive Idealist‘ procrastination type.

If you don’t know which out of. the 6 procrastination types you are then you can take this quick 3 minute procrastination type quiz on my Mindstrong Academy website.

Through my fourteen years of coaching, I’ve identified six procrastination types, but my journey started with a personal revelation—I am an Obsessive Idealist. I’ve been there, constantly toggling between creation and procrastination.

And today, I invite you to explore this path with me. If you’re nodding along, thinking, “That sounds like me; I’m a perfectionist too,” then stick around.

I’m about to shed some light on why you might be stuck in this cycle.


Here’s a perfectionist procrastination type video here of what I’m breaking down in this article for you:

The Obsessive Idealist: Unpacking the Perfectionist’s Paradox

First things first, make sure to take the procrastination quiz: to see where you stand. Now, let’s dive into the world of the Obsessive Idealist. Often labeled as high achievers or perfectionists, the core of their procrastination lies in the mind’s protective pause. It’s a shield against perceived threats, pitfalls of perfectionism, and the constant battle between the now and the future in our minds.

Here’s the paradox: what seems like a strength for high achievers can become a crippling hindrance. Obsessive Idealists are in a constant struggle to avoid failure, aiming for 100% perfection. But let’s face the truth—no one is perfect. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, athlete, or any individual striving for excellence, embracing imperfections and learning from failures are crucial steps.


The Traps of Being an Obsessive Idealist Procrastination Type

Analysis Paralysis: Overthinking every detail to the point of inaction is a common pitfall. It’s like trying to get everything perfect, but in reality, it backfires, stalling your progress.

The Unrealistic Standards Syndrome: Setting impossibly high goals is like chasing a mirage. It’s not just about being competitive; it can lead to unfair self-criticism and unrealistic expectations of others.

The Time Trap: Believing there’s never enough time to complete a task perfectly leads to constant postponement. This selective focus on strengths, while avoiding areas of improvement, limits your true potential.

Avoidance of Criticism: Dodging feedback hinders growth. It’s essential to learn to accept constructive criticism without internalizing it as a reinforcement of the “I’m not good enough” narrative.

The All-or-Nothing Lie: Believing that you must operate at full throttle or not at all is a dangerous misconception. Embracing the middle ground, like delegating tasks and seeking mentorship, is key to balanced success.

Embracing Imperfection: The Path to True Progress


In the MindStrong Academy, where I teach conquering procrastination, we focus on managing these patterns effectively. Currently, we’re offering a 7-day free trial, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your mindset: The Academy is more than just a course; it’s a community where you’ll find support, accountability, and tailored resources like a 31-day planner and visualization audios to realign your focus.


In conclusion, recognizing and managing your tendencies as an Obsessive Idealist is crucial. By addressing the deep-rooted “I’m not good enough” narrative and embracing imperfection, you can shift from a state of constant stress to one of harmonized power.

Remember, movement doesn’t always equate to progress. It’s about finding balance, embracing downtime, and allowing yourself the space to grow and learn.

I encourage you to take the quiz, join the MindStrong Academy, and start your journey towards a more balanced, successful life.

Let’s break free from the chains of perfectionism together!


Continue Reading

Change Your Mindset

Unlocking Success: Subconscious Reprogramming, Mindset, and Transformative Strategies for Improved Wellbeing and Business Performance



brittany victoria

What if I told you that the negative thoughts or self-limiting beliefs that you may have, are not actually yours?

In this article, I will discuss subconscious programming and how it can be reprogrammed in a way that allows you to reach your greatest potential. I will also provide tips on how you can integrate this information as a leader within the workplace.

The subconscious mind is shaped before we begin forming our own conscious thoughts, and these conscious thoughts are influenced by the subconscious mind. This means that even the thoughts that you’re consciously having, are merely an extension of that pre-existing conditioning. 

When something becomes deeply ingrained within your mind through repetition, and there are other supporting thoughts that reinforce it, you will identify this information as your truth. These repeated thoughts become beliefs, and your actions will align to support and validate these beliefs.

The Importance of Observing Your Thoughts

If you continuously tell yourself that you aren’t capable or good enough, how likely are you to put in the effort to challenge this narrative? If you’ve always been a procrastinator and tell yourself that you always will be, you’re going to continue procrastinating. If you run into an obstacle and don’t believe you can overcome it, you’re not going to look for solutions or try your best to resolve it.

It’s extremely important for you to become an observer of your thoughts and understand the impacts of how those thoughts can impact your life, relationships, and overall outlook on life.

Here are some questions to help guide you:

– What are your recurring negative thoughts, and how are they impacting your performance and relationships? 

– How have these thoughts held you back from achieving your goals and living the life that you’ve always dreamed of? 

– What have these thoughts already cost you and what else will they cost you if they don’t change?

Societal conditioning, influenced by a lower level of collective consciousness, has made the experience of debilitating thoughts highly prevalent. It’s not your fault that you have them, but it is your responsibility to change them and choose better ones.

The Subconscious Must Be Reprogrammed 

Reprogramming the subconscious involves positive affirmations, visualization, and consistent repetition to replace negative beliefs with positive ones. You have to become aware of the thoughts that make you feel bad and do not serve your best interest.

What are the growth-oriented thoughts that would you rather have instead? Any time that a debilitating thought crosses your mind, always correct it with new thought that uplifts, encourages and empowers you. Be consistent, be patient and understand that your logical mind will not make this process easy for you at first.

Being Delusional vs. Consciously Creating a Better Reality for Yourself 

By definition, the term delusional means “holding false beliefs or judgments about external reality that are held despite incontrovertible evidence to the contrary”. When you have held onto debilitating beliefs for so long and your previous actions have served as evidence to confirm their truth, it is inevitable that your logical mind will deem your new thoughts as delusional. This is where embracing change tends to become most challenging, as it involves confronting this resistance with unwavering commitment. 


What you have to understand is that your former beliefs and former actions do not dictate your future, unless they remain the same. As the old beliefs become obsolete and new beliefs take their place, there will also be new aligned actions that produce different results, and this will serve as evidence to support your new truth. That being said, the most delusional thing that anyone can do is elect to keep an unfavorable mindset that was programmed for them by external factors and willingly relinquish their own personal power as a result of it.

Success is Fundamentally Rooted in the Mindset

How we show up for ourselves and others, communicate with employees, and perform in business are deeply connected to our mindset and everything that has shaped it. Let’s delve into these interconnected aspects and explore five transformative tips that will catalyze positive change in the workplace. 


A growth-oriented mindset encourages resilience, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace challenges. On the other hand, a fixed mindset hinders progress and limits potential.

Tip 1: Embrace a Growth Mindset

  • Establish the belief that abilities can be developed.
  • View challenges as opportunities for learning and improvement.
  • Cultivate a positive attitude toward continuous growth and development.

Unpacking Trauma and Navigating the Impact

Unresolved trauma can cast a long shadow over our personal and professional lives. It shapes our reactions, influences decision-making, and impacts our interactions with others. Acknowledging and addressing trauma is essential for creating a healthier, more productive work environment.


Tip 2: Prioritize Trauma-Informed Leadership

  • Cultivate empathy and understanding for individual experiences.
  • Provide a safe space for open communication about trauma.
  • Implement support systems and resources for employees dealing with trauma.


Elevate Relationships and Sales Performance

To enhance relationships, communication, and sales performance, a holistic approach that intertwines mindset and trauma-informed practices is key.


Tip 3: Implement Empathy-Driven Communication

  • Train teams in active listening and empathetic communication.
  • Create an environment where open dialogue is encouraged.
  • Recognize and validate diverse perspectives, creating a culture of inclusivity.

Tip 4: Invest in Professional Development

  • Offer continuous learning opportunities for employees.
  • Develop leadership skills to enhance communication and relationship-building.
  • Prioritize sales training programs that align with evolving market dynamics.

Tip 5: Maintain a Positive Work Culture

  • Create a workplace where employees feel valued and appreciated.
  • Implement recognition programs to celebrate achievements.
  • Encourage a balance between professional and personal well-being.

By embracing a growth mindset, acknowledging and addressing trauma, and implementing empathetic, integrated strategies, individuals and organizations can create a transformative ripple effect. In this interconnected web of personal and professional growth, how we show up truly matters, influencing the outcomes we achieve and the impact we leave on those around us.


Enjoy the Journey 

As you embark on the empowering journey of subconscious reprogramming, remember that change takes time, and self-compassion is your greatest ally. Surround yourself with positive influences, whether it be supportive friends, inspirational books, or mindfulness practices. Seek guidance from mentors who have walked a similar path and found success in reshaping their mindset. Embrace the discomfort that may arise during this process, for it signifies the shedding of old layers to make way for the new. Reflect on your progress regularly, celebrating even the smallest victories, and be patient with yourself as you navigate the intricacies of transformation. 

In the spirit of rewriting your narrative, I encourage you to take the first step today. Commit to a daily practice of positive affirmations, visualize your desired reality, and consistently challenge self-limiting beliefs. If you would like support along the way, consider joining like-minded communities, Facebook groups, and curate your social media to reflect these new changes you want to embody.

Remember, thoughts become actions, and actions reinforce beliefs. It’s never too late to embark on an empowering journey to reprogram your mind, and achieve the life you have always dreamed of!

For more tips and strategies on how to improve your mindset, follow me at @bigdivineenergy.

Continue Reading

Change Your Mindset

How to Let Go of Unconscious Patterns That No Longer Serve You

Spending more and more time going inward will free you to move forward.



Image Credit: Midjourney

I was chatting with a friend of mine who was recently laid off. The experience has been overwhelming for him in a myriad of ways, including feeling inadequate and not good enough to get another job. (more…)

Continue Reading