Will my demanding, grumpy, intolerant boss get promoted?

Dear Aunty B,

Where do I start? I have a new boss who is the opposite of everything good about my old boss.

This woman is a real nitpicker who is focused on nothing but results and deadlines. She is really short tempered, is stingy but gets cross when we say we can’t do things because of a lack of resources, can’t delegate and worse, she makes us accountable but won’t give us the responsibility to make the decisions that we are then accountable for!

She is also heartless, as she doesn’t care less about us as people. One of my colleagues shared a personal situation with her and she asked her if it would affect her work! Our old boss would have sat down and showed some sympathy.

I love my workplace and don’t want to leave. How do I survive her? My friend says people like that never get promoted so I could be stuck with her forever.


Dear Sal,

People like her get promoted all the time! In fact, senior management is full of them. Why? These people are so focused on results, they often achieve them. And companies love people who get results.

The first thing to understand is the pressure she is under. You couldn’t give a stuff? Thought not. But if you can walk in her stilettos for a minute, it is going to help your strategy.

What if she is was told this for example? Get these results or you have to sack five people? Huh? Or get these results and you can all go to Oprah. (Not likely but you get the drift.)
She is under pressure. So your job is to work out how to help the situation, not bitch and carry on behind her back.

Here is what you must do. She sounds like a typical Theory X manager (look it up). They are results orientated, focused on facts and don’t have any real interest in human issues. So give her facts, give her figures, always deliver on promises and don’t pick a fight with her.

If she tells you to do something a particular way, check the outcome she wants and then propose you will work on ways to get the thing done more effectively/efficiently/cheaper…

Above all don’t talk to her about your personal problems. She’s your boss not your therapist.

Give her a go. If you understand this type of boss, they can be pretty straightforward to work with.

Good luck!
Your Aunty B

To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

Email your questions, problems and issues to auntyb@smartcompany.com.au right now!


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