Influence

 

Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“You often speak on the subject of leadership. Yes, like every day of my life. You define leadership as influencing others. That is true. I am a new leader and feel like I have not influenced– that must be I have no influence. My boss is a micromanager and steals the credit and generously disperses the blame. How can I be influential in this environment?”

First question I have for you is, did this boss make you the leader? If the answer to that question is yes, then you need to go to your boss and say, “I appreciate the promotion. I appreciate being moved into this job. I need to know how to best perform in this new environment. How can I best support you and your leadership in my new supervisory role? What do you need from me?” That’s the first thing.

If this boss is new and did not move you into leadership, then I would still go to the boss and say, “I moved into this job with the expectation or the understanding that this was my role, that my job was to do this, is that right, and that I would have the resources to do that?” Yes, that’s right. Then, if they agree with that statement, say, “I’m struggling because it feels like sometimes you and I are working on the same project at the same time, and I would like your coaching or mentoring or help on how we can be clear about what my job is so that I know not to step over the line.”

Most bosses will respect that. If they’re a micromanager and they keep micromanaging you and you don’t need the micromanagement, if you’re not being successful, you might need it. What you want to do is you want to just ask them, “Hey, look, it feels like sometimes you give me a job, and I started that job, and then you jump in, then I get confused about who has the ball. Can you help me with clarity?” If that continues and they disperse blame and they’re a micromanager, you got to start dusting off the whole resume, because that isn’t going to likely change.

I had a boss like that years ago, years ago, my first or second job out of college, she was horrible, stole every bit of credit, horrible micromanager, blamed everybody else, and eventually the vice president came to town because he knew it was a mess and David said, “Let’s talk about it.” We got in office and talked about it, and it was just horrific. I mean, it was horrific. Eventually, she got demoted, I went on to another job at a different company, that was bad.

You got to do the right things first, right? Have a conversation, get clarity about the role, get the expectations, get the duties outlined, and then say, “If you could just give me a couple of days to get ahead of this and I’ll bring this back.” Sometimes you can help micromanagers by over micromanaging back. Could you look at this, could you do that, that kind of thing.

I hope that’s helpful.

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