Have you been in situations where you felt you could actually rebel against your boss and get away? If you were in such an advantageous position would you mind using it? I know that sounds like the current ‘Kohli vs Kumble’ situation. Even if it’s a rumor, we know it makes for a nice story as this plays out in our work life too.
It’s not uncommon to have tiffs with your boss, sometimes it reaches a stage where we can’t handle/manage/tolerate them any longer, we either put up or quit, many of us have had the quitting experience, But then, there can be dream situations where you would be calling the shots, I know it sounds crazy, but if your stars are shining, it does come your way 🙂 In a couple of decades of my employment I was in those situations twice; so, I went for the kill 🙂 Now, don’t say you wouldn’t do it! Before even you get there’ ask yourself, if you have ever got those opportunities?
The first instance I recall is when I was in sales, The number of deals I was signing up were getting better by the day, whenever we got visitors from Headquarters they used to stop by to give me that ‘wow’ vibes, so it meant people were talking highly about me in other parts of the country, my informants across the organisation were filling me about my sales numbers being a talking point by higher-ups including the CEO, obviously this was giving me new highs and should say I was feeling invincible, I also realised that my boss had become dependent on my performance as some of my peers were underperforming. When I used to visit headquarters, the HR Head, CEOs started to give me “one to one” slots which were ‘high’ moments.
The internal newsletter carried my interview as the new superstar in sales. Now all these had possibly gone to my head, the next few months I saw myself in loggerheads with my boss, I was constantly arguing with him about the pricing norms, customer selection, my increments, and overall strategy, it initially started when we were just two of us, soon enough my peers started to sense it in meetings. I am sure the word spread, I got a call from my dotted line boss from Hq.
He asked if what he heard was real, to make matters worse I had a tiff with my boss just an hour before that and I vented all my frustration, he asked me to chill and my guess is he must have spoken to my boss later too, my dotted line boss in his next visit brought HR along with him, they checked with my underperforming peers about the atmosphere in our region, 🙂 they also needed an escape route, I guess they too complained in their own way, suddenly our supervisor became the villain as far as Hq was concerned. In about a year our boss who had got promoted after some great performances under his belt was under the lens because my wave of success had gotten the better of the situation.
The HR/Hq bosses obviously had to discuss this with my boss to get it sorted. I guess after their dialogue with him the entire atmosphere at the office got disturbed further compared to what was just difference of opinions before.
The Hq decided that I was too precious to be played with, they gave me a promotion and sent me to another city, they also moved my boss into what seemed like a forced parallel role, he quit few months from then, I guess the rest of the story is irrelevant. Just replace the “I” up there with yourself, can you see yourself there?
So, now do you want to know how to get away by rebelling against your boss?
- Make sure your performance is secure for the next few months. It is difficult to do 2 jobs at a time! But you can try
- Ensure your relationship with your reportees and peers is at its best
- Test the waters with some senior people at Hq if the time is right
- Double check if the boss has a better influence in Hq than you, in most cases he/she would
- Always have an external option ready if the rebel in you should bail out
All these sound manipulative, you can call it backstabbing or simply trying to get what you want. But, this what plays out, isn’t it?
I am sure that no organization wants to discipline its star performers. They will rather find a way to accommodate the star performers somehow. If we are the beneficiary, we shouldn’t complain. But, remember one day we all fancy climbing the ladder and Karma can strike back.
I know today’s organizations lay high emphasis on culture. They do strike the necessary checks and balance when superstar mindset goes berserk.
However, we all know when we have access to people at the top and when are performing we always tend to overestimate our strength as invincibility.
We all have a shelf life as performers and leaders. Nothing lasts forever, but when we are at the top of our game we only want it our way!
You are always in the spotlight when you use back channels to plot against your boss. The only way you can survive is to stand up and deliver every day!