Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?

- from the Wizard of Oz (film)
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Gracious reader,

Your manager doesn't have to be a friend -- you don't even really have to like each other. 

You do need to respect one another, and your mutual professional efforts.  Respect is not a feeling, it's something we demonstrate through action.

And beyond your goals, it's your job to support your boss in achieving their goals.  And it's their job to support your goals and professional development.

In the best of all possible worlds, you will both like and respect one another.  This doesn't always happen.
Good Boss, or Bad Boss?

Weirdly, the most hit article on my (now mostly shuttered) blog is Management Lessons from The Devil Wears Prada. (Really.) 

A reader had asked me, "Is Miranda really a bad manager?"

My answer was, "No."  Of course I was being a bit flip.  But a warm interpersonal style is not always a sign of a good manager. 

In fact, when managers are too "nice" or "empathic," they might not tell you that you're blowing it.  Kim Scott calls this Ruinous Empathy.

Your manager is on track when you know what's expected of you, and how you can expect to be treated at work.
Relationship Management
HTHAJ Wayback Machine
  • A "bad boss" is such a complex situation, and "What to do about a bad boss" is great clickbait.  The Internet is a terrible mentor and dispenser of advice.  Step away from the Search bar.  Talk with someone you trust who knows you and your context.  (HTHAJ #10, Advice)
  • If things aren't going well with your boss, step away from your email.  Chat, too.  We can never strengthen a challenging relationship with a text exchange.  If you're remote, get on a video call.  (HTHAJ #12, You've Got (E)Mail)
  • Civility goes a long way at work, and can be the basis for building a strong working relationship with your manager.  (HTHAJ #27 Manners and Civility)
A reader who requested anonymity suggested Working Girl as a good Movie About Work involving introductions.

Working Girl is so great because it illuminates some reasons that talent doesn't always float to the top.  Go-getter Tess McGill lacks the class credentials, networks, and y-chromosome that would grant introductions and access to jobs she would rock. 

And of course because it's a film, she navigates the barriers and eclipses her humble beginnings.

Coincidentally, just this summer developer/entrepreneur Kirsten Lambertsen talked with me about Working Girl.  Kirsten had smart things to say about navigating an uneven playing field.  You may listen via the link below.

"Culture fit" is often cited as a reason that someone's not doing a good job at work.  I think that this can be, or lead to, lazy thinking. 

If an organization cares, overly, where someone went to school or where they grew up, chances are that everyone's talent is not equally appreciated.

Thank you, Unnamed Reader, for sending me your thoughtful, smart suggestion!
Thank you for reading!  Have a great week.


Anne Libby

P.S.  Issue #31 was about Feedback.  Here's a link.
Do you lead a team?
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