003 How to change your Boss

Today’s topic is about wanting to change your boss. How do you go about doing this? The short version is that it’s not possible. This is the shortcut version of this.
Let’s look at it from a different perspective. If you are responsible for a team, and one of your employees wants to change you, what’s your reaction?
Change doesn’t work when it is against the hierarchy. I have never had a boss in my career of nearly 20 years within IT, who was able and willing to take feedback from the subordinates! There are some who pretended, but when it came to the point. It didn’t work.

“Change doesn’t work against the hierarchy.”

I’m not saying that managers are not listening to feedback, but chances are very small. Instead let’s talk about what you want to change in your boss. For example, what if your boss gives you work that you cannot handle or are difficult?  If these things are difficult, then train until they’re not difficult anymore. Sometimes when we say we want to change our bosses it is often personality changes! For instance, they do not say good morning when they enter the office. It is imperative to differentiate between people’s personality, such as being friendly or polite and their work performance. You’re not at work for fun and entertainment. You’re there to deliver! You are hired to do as task as well as possible. My experience says we all perform much better if the workplace is fun, but this is not why we’re there.

Now if you have a reasonable boss and he throws stuff on your desk, and it’s too much, don’t say no; instead give her a choice. Be creative. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Now let’s focus on personality: the impossible one.
There’s one person on the planet that can change you. It’s yourself! Nobody can change you if you don’t want it. You can pretend that you changed, but you’re just acting. And the more you must act, the more energy it costs and at a certain point in time, people. Serious change from the inside can only be initiated by the person who wants to change now.

“Many managers associate the tools they use with their own personalities.”

If you cannot change the people that you do have some manner of control over, how would you change someone that you have no control over? Let’s avoid focusing on behaviours rather than on output. Lots of managers don’t know that leadership is an arts. They don’t know that this can be learned! Therefore the tools that they use are not seen as tools, but as their own personality traits; any critique is seen as a personal insult. So don’t try to change your manager!

Stay in lead!

OLAF KAPINSKI 🙂

Transcript

 All right. Hello, Olaf Hi. How are you doing? I’m doing great. Thank you. So, I have an issue.
I work at a company, theoretically. And I want to change my boss.
So could you, you know, walk me through it. Give me the process. How do you go about doing this?
Yeah, better not. I mean, technically, you work in a company, and yeah, so.

No.

It’s not possible. This is the shortcut version of this.
So let’s turn the perspective a little, okay?
You are responsible for a team, and you have some people, and this one person wants to change you.
Yeah, and he’s always telling you, boss. This is wrong. And you gotta change this, and you need to do this differently. I mean, what’s your reaction?
Change doesn’t work from against the hierarchy. It simply doesn’t. Okay.
And when I now say it doesn’t, then this means that I have never had a boss in my career, nearly 20 years within IT, who would be able and willing to take feedback from the subordinates. I had some who pretended.
But when it came to the point. It didn’t work.
I hear this from my clients. Ridiculously. Really?

So I’m not saying that no manager, no person higher up in the food chain is listening to feedback, well made feedback and substantial feedback from the people below them in the food chain.
I’m not saying that, but I’m saying your chances are so small.
Yeah, that for me here in the podcast, it’s fair to say your chances are zero. Don’t do it.
Yeah, so then you’re on the safe side. Okay, So what do you want to change in your boss?
Well, theoretically, let’s go for something that a lot of people have issues with.
For instance, my boss gives me work that I cannot handle or things that I find difficult or that I feel, like, are not in my scope.
What can I do then?

 I’m not sure if this has to do with your abilities. If these if these things are difficult, well, then train and then they’re not difficult anymore. Okay?
If they’re not in your field of responsibility, then discuss the field of responsibility with your boss.

When we say we want to change our bosses, then it’s I mean, sometimes it’s things like I want that. He says good morning when he enters the office.
I think we need to differentiate between people’s identity, their personality, which is being friendly and greeting and just being a polite person and maybe stuff that is work related.
Like don’t give me things that I can’t execute.
Let’s start with the second one because I think the first one is more interesting.

Dear Mrs Employees, this is news for you. But you’re not there for fun and entertainment. You’re there to deliver.

I know that this is news for some people, but we don’t.
Neither do we have a right to live there and to work there. We just need to be worth it.
Nor do we have a right to. This is not your playground of self expression?
No, you are hired to do this task as well as possible, right?
Well, some people go there and say, I know I’m just paid for average output.
This is a philosophical question, but at the very end of the day, you aren’t there for fun.
My experience says we all perform much better if this is fun.
If I hate my job and I do this thing, then I just do this thing. But only because if I don’t do it, then I can’t pay my mortgage.
And I do it only as long as I can see the muzzle right in my face.
So as soon as the boss turns around, I just let the let the keyboard drop, and I just don’t know, play something or just go and check with the colleagues.

This is not why we’re there. Everybody expects that their payment at the end of the month has to be there
And they forget that this is only the payment for what they’ve done over the month. This is what is very often missed.
I don’t work because I don’t like my company, so I don’t perform.
Yeah, well, when your company just says well, and we’re not in the mood to pay you, I see this is too often played in the one direction.

The beautiful and nice and innocent employees and the evil dragon beast of a company. No.
I know enough employees to know that this is not necessarily true all the time.
So yeah, I think that if you have a reasonable boss and he throws stuff on your on your desk, and it’s too much, don’t say no, but give her a choice.
So choice means here is this task eight that you have got to deliver by tonight. Let’s say we have Wednesday.

This is now on Tuesday noon and you had a conversation with her and you agreed. Okay, I do this by Wednesday night. Yeah.
So choose the evening. She comes in and says “wow, we gotta do this.”
Okay, this is 1700. I’m out of the door. But I will do this tomorrow morning first thing when I come in.
So tomorrow morning, she’s already waiting for you.

A lot of people are completely stupid and get upset.
And how dare she ?
Yeah, my advice is to say, OK, boss.
I mean, I assume she’s not doing this because she hates you and assume that she’s not completely crazy.
Okay, boss, I have finished. I’ve promised you to finish this job, by now, which is in an hour or something like that.
And we’ve agreed that I finish your job from Tuesday morning.
By tonight evening, I can understand the importance of the job. So, I can deliver you either job A from Monday or job B. Now it’s your choice. What’s more important?
Okay, first reaction might both.
Yeah. Then you stay calm.
Okay. Again. Which one do you want me to do?

They understand that. You know what you have in your head.

They don’t do this because they’re crazy, mean people.
They do this because they just lack a little bit of organization.
And I wouldn’t be surprised if her answer would be “What was this job, eh?”
She just simply forgot you.
Then you recap it and and then she either she’s like, okay. Friday’s enough. Just do my stuff now, or she’s like, “Oh, my goodness.
At least one of us has an understanding of what we got to do. Dude, No, this is this This this has to be done by tomorrow.”


Okay. Tomorrow. By when? Noon. Ok, then tomorrow by noon.
This brings every participants of this conversation in the position that you are the guy who knows what’s going on.
You are this calm pillar.
But he keeps you on track. He knows what’s what. This is all about and he’s not throwing me out of the window. He’s just giving options.
So it’s almost like a assuming that they gave you an assignment and then kind of took it off their plate. It’s not in their mind. They’re waiting for a result.

I could do either a B or C. Now, you know you’re the manager. You prioritize which one is more important for me to have done, so it kind of gives them back a little bit
of that control that they feel that maybe they’ve lost because they have three things that they need right now.
Two things I would add to this: number one, appreciation.
You understand that this third job is important? Yeah.
And number two keep your line. Hold your line.
Whatever happens, you are not saying yes, I deliver all of them by tonight.
Stick to your point.
Think about creativity. Okay, I understand that this is important.
Here’s how we do this. I do it by tonight, as promised.
But, Joe, I think he’s working on this new thing. Be creative. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.
Well, how trivial. And it’s always the same.

You had this point of, this is not my responsibility.
Well, maybe now it is your responsibility.
Be open with your boss.
Yeah, that’s that’s an interesting task.
I don’t know, I’ve never done this before.
I am not aware that I am responsible for this.
Am I responsible for this. Do you want me to do this?

And then let’s see what happens. Yeah, you know, never say no.
No is the poison to everything.
You are the stone in the shoe.
Okay, Ask! Yes, this your responsibility. What’s your point? Didn’t you read the email from yesterday night?
I took over this responsibility in a brave moment, this responsibility and we need to talk about this.
Can we talk about this later? And you execute this now? Because this is urgent. And then yeah. Okay, boss. No problem. I do this.
What about this? I invite us for a meeting Friday afternoon, and then we just grab a coffee. Be helpful.
If you have no clue how to do this, then double check and see if your colleagues have no clue either.
Because if they have a clue then maybe you should.
So I think this is for the task related issue. Does that make sense? Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. Perfect. So now, personality.

 The tough one. Ah, no, an impossible one, I mean, let’s remove all the myth around. This is just impossible.

 I let’s put some examples.
I want that my boss appreciates me. I want that my boss has more time for me.
I want that my boss stops with these bloody team meetings because they’re only a waste of time.
I want that my boss doesn’t work with annual objectives anymore.

There is one person on the planet, and this is as trivial as to be part of the solution.
There’s one person on the planet that can change you. It’s only one person.
It’s yourself, right? Nobody can change me if I don’t want.
I can pretend that I changed, but I’m just acting.
And the more I have to act, the more energy it costs me. And at a certain point in time, people break because they don’t understand the act or they just leave the company. Serious change,
real change from the inside can only be initiated by the person who wants to change now. When you see the kids running around and the parents say “you must change your behavior.”

 It’s not successful. That’s what I was just gonna bring up if people have a hard time changing people that are in a manner of speaking under them.
So you know, how many managers have you heard? Hey, I have a problem with this employee. I want him to be this or that.
If you can change the people that you do have some manner of control over, how would you change someone that you have no control over. Its more than impossible? Exactly. Yeah.
And even more important, we are in a corporate environment context.

Can we please avoid staring at behaviors rather than on output? Right.
This is the only reason why we’re there. We’re not, there, to be nice to each other. And again, I like when people are nice to each other. I like when we have fun it at the workplace. But this is not the main purpose.
If we like what we do, we deliver better. And delivery is the meaning of the organization.
So right, so some three warnings here.
Lots of managers don’t know that leadership is an arts by itself.
They don’t know that this can be learned, that everybody can learn it. Who wants to? And that this is just a collection of discipline and tools.
Lots of leaders believe they are managers because they are God-given leaders. Right?
Julius Caesar is just one of my predecessors.
That means if you don’t know that what you do is a tool, if you believe that what you do.
Talking to your employees is is the expression off your genius and then somebody comes up with this. Dude, I don’t like your one on ones.
Can we just do this somewhat differently? Then if you don’t know that one on one is a tool and you decide or define everything that you do, all the results that you achieve, you achieved by genius?

Then this is not a critique of a tool anymore. Then it’s immediately personal attack.
Okay, so this is what I’m saying. Be careful with criticizing your boss.
The minority of them understand that what they do is just a job.
Half of them are happy that they’re there, and they have no clue how they got there.

Half of this half knows that they’re there and they don’t belong. They’re just there because of an accident or something, and they can’t make it.
So they are there. And they hope for the best for the next years to get a pension in this position.
Yeah, but they know that they suck. Well, at least when they’re honest, honest with themselves, they don’t say this to anyone.
My guess is, a maximum of 10% of the managers out there who know what they’re doing.
Yeah, and those people you can talk about tools you can talk about? Okay.
You do this to stick to this example. I am a big fan off a different management school.
And so then you’re talking about a tool, not about personality anymore. Right?
But a lot of managers have this too tightly connected. When you when you say I don’t?
Well, when and now that we talk about this lots off employees cannot give proper feedback.
I don’t like the team meeting.

 Yeah, why? Okay, Like, I mean, let’s start with what does like mean?
What are you talking about? So employees can’t give feedback.
Managers don’t know that what they do is just tools. They think, it is their personality. So this is a convoluted business.
This is a setup which just can seriously lead into into serious trouble.
So I’m saying, don’t try to change your manager even if you pretend that he wants to change and that he listens to your feedback. Yeah. Don’t do it.
Okay. Yeah. All right. Thank you. See you next time. Bye.