Have you ever worked somewhere where you loved what you did, but you couldn't stand your boss?
I have! Twice as a matter of fact.
My first experience with having a less than ideal boss was working for a cafe in my 20's. I loved the amazing food they sold, the interesting people who showed up each day and my fun loving my co-workers. I loved the regulars that came in and learning all about their lives. I loved meeting people who would visit us from all over the world.
Yet, the owners kept insisting on using their ownership power to make decisions that flew in the face of success of their own company and against the success of the employees they hired.
One day we were just about to open. One of the owners accidentally left the door unlocked. A customer that didn't notice the "open hours sign" in the window walked right in and was ready to order.
The owner briskly, rudely and firmly said, "You need to leave. We do not open until 9 am!" The woman was flabbergasted. She made a rude remark back and needless to say didn't return when we opened.
Another time the owners decided to use all paper to-go cups for the full espresso menu instead of their cozy ceramic cups. Now, keep in mind, this cafe was a health food cafe, so the majority of regulars cared about their health but also about the environment. Of course we received ample complaints.
We also had to field complaints about how nice it was to sit and read with a ceramic mug to keep your hands warm. We received ample requests to bring back the cozy ceramic mugs.
Despite the complaints and loss of customers, the owners insisted that ceramic mugs took away the heat and paper cups kept the heat longer. Head scratching! I thought they would say something more business-like, like we save money by not having to pay someone to wash more dishes. Paper cups keep the heat longer? I'm sorry, but I don't buy it.
Then another day the owners decided that we would become a restaurant instead of a cafe... like tomorrow. None of us had any training, but we showed up and were expected to be a restaurant and run fully streamlined as a restaurant. The owners also didn't show up that day, so those of us scheduled had to face the fire of irate customers and confused employees. The few tips we received were pity tips.
These are just a few examples of very poor leadership skills. But the interesting fact is that despite the owner's craziness, I stayed putting up with them for almost 4 years because I loved what I did.
Today's resource talks about this very thing. If you have a client, a friend or if you feel stuck, I hope this helps inspire.
Coaching Perspective of the Week:
How to Deal with a Toxic Boss
with Simon Sinek
People don't quit jobs, they quit bosses.
But what can you do if you have a toxic boss and you want to stay at your job?
As a result, I grew up very depressed and became rebellious against social norms. In middle school I was that quiet-angry-punk-rock-goth-girl who only wore black, kept my head down and only listened to The Cure. That was me trying to be different, but ironically, only as different as all the other “punk rock new wavers”.
I just really scratched my head at what I thought was a "horrible" world I had been born into. Think about it, from racism to melting ice-caps to sex-trafficking at Walmart, the world humans created is complicated.
Even if we choose to not talk about it, we all feel the impact of these things in hearts each time the next news flash goes by.
My chronic linear focus on what was "wrong", drew me to an equally linear conclusion.
I concluded that we must have
reached our potential as a human race and
we were now headed downhill.
What I discovered is that my conclusion was sorely short-sited.
I discovered that we are only a fraction towards reaching our human potential. Furthermore, things were so “off” because we haven’t even experienced true success on a larger scale yet.
Most people, and most company teams, operated through linear thinking. This linear thinking was delivering equally linear results. The problem with linear results is they don't yield truly successful outcomes. Let me share an example.
If I say to you, “Hey, guess what!? I achieved my goal and created this stellar million dollar company!” Most people would be like, “Wow, congrats, that is amazing! Good work!” followed by a high-five. And if my goal is linear, like going from zero to a million, and I hit that marker, then I can consider myself a true success, right?! I can even call my company “stellar” because it met my limited criteria.
Ok, let’s look at the broader truth. What if I came to you and said, “Hey guess what?! I created this stellar million dollar company! Our products pollute the ocean and our employees are all unhappy and overworked, but that’s ok because we moved our base across seas and employ children as young as eight years, on the cheap, to keep our costs down.”
To you I ask, have I reached true success?
Is anything a true success if it also initiates negative impact?
I say no. True success doesn't include failure.
Wouldn't true success encompass successful outcomes in all areas an endeavor reaches? For example, "Hey guess what?! I created this amazing million dollar company! Our products are 100% biodegradable, our product line is run on 100% solar, our employee base is like a large supportive family and our turnover is lower than any other company in our sales bracket for over a decade. We have so much left over after all the high end profit sharing that we donate all the excess to support families struck by poverty."
Again, most companies want to be successful in all areas, they just started out with linear goals and gotten themselves limited solutions. Time to pivot.
Understand this. Even the way success is defined in the dictionary points directly to this unintended limitation we've placed on human potential.
1. the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
2. a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.
Can you see the singular focus? Interesting isn't it.
If true success doesn't include failure then the dictionary might read:
1. the successful outcomes created as a result of an accomplishment or purpose.
2. surpassing desired aims and attaining prosperity, for self and others, as a result.
Can you see the movement from the linear into the expanded? It is a huge difference in implication.
Linear thinking creates limitation, intended or not. Linear solutions are prone to unintended consequences because they are, by their very nature, short-sighted solutions.
I have good news though! The problems we face nowadays are not due to a lack of intelligence. We are highly intelligent, but we are not yet integratively intelligent.
I am willing to bet not one company team started out saying, "I want to cause damage to the environment and take more for myself than I want to provide for my staff."
Yet, they may have started out saying, "Let's create a million dollar company!" and then got lost in the excitement, cut corners, and sold out their values for venues.
Not one person would say, “Yes, I want to swim in a disgusting polluted dying ocean!! Wooho!” Not one. Yet, that is very sadly what is happening.
So, we've failed to see through the lens true success. That is ok. We can start now.
So, we've forgot to choose the outcome that made the millions and left positive impacts in multiple areas. That is ok. We can expand our vision and engage our full potential.
So, we've settled for the money goal and ignore, justify, or numb out, the guilt each night. That is ok. We can align with our values whenever we choose and touch people's lives in positive ways as we do so.
Envision a global company that solved more problems than it created economically, socially, politically, relationally, environmentally and fiscally. You can’t tell me we are not intelligent enough to pull this off. Yet, if we don't include aspects of the whole, we can and will miss the true mark of human potential.
So do we have yet to tap into our human potential? Heck yes we do! And I'm excited to be a part of the movement towards integrative thinking and true human potential.
This is the good news!
Integrative coaches are one way humanity is helping humanity shift into more positive and impactful solutions in all areas, not just one or two.
Integrative means to include all aspects. This lens of intelligence helps people see farther, dig deeper, include their core values into their work/life, remove obstacles and minimize limitation. As we do so, people start to truly thrive.
What I challenge our politicians, leaders and companies to say is... "Challenge accepted! Yes, let's create the solutions that only have positive impact in all areas we reach!"
It has been said we are living in pivotal times. So let's pivot!
Are you with me?
By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty