I work for a very successful firm that to this point has relied on one product line for 80% of its revenue. We have saturated that market and over the past 2 years we have started to add new products and services to our portfolio. Here's the challenge.......we've put an incredible amount of time and energy into developing great products and services but forgot about "our most important assets".....our people.

Our coaching, management and leadership practices are from the stone ages. I joined the company about a year ago because of my strong background in leadership, management and coaching. The problem is that every change I have tried to implement has been shot down by my boss (I'm a director responsible for 1/3 of our P&L). If we do not make changes in the way we coach and develop our employees we will not succeed.

So here's the can I get my boss to see the light and implement some of the changes I have in mind or at least listen to the ideas with an open mind?

430jan's picture

There is no way to manage your boss. It's the way of bosses. I would imagine if this is a highly successful firm then your boss figures stone age or not, it's working. Don't try to change your boss. Influence your directs and let their shiny results impress your boss.

Search around the forums, lots of people here have faced this with their bosses and won through results. Most of them ultimately weren't trying to prove that their way was right, they just did the right things and then could point to success. All bosses love that!

Nobody likes to "implement change". Nobody. But I bet if you were just talking to your direct reports more about their lives and their projects that might be ok. I bet if you were to give everybody short little encouragements about the effective behaviors they were engaging in nobody would protest. And who doesn't want to be coached in a new skill that will get them a promotion eventually? Hey wait, that sounds like the management trinity!

My favorite Horstman's Law is #8 and keeps me humble. The "other way" often works just fine. (I hate that one!)

Make your boss look good and you're more than halfway there. Good luck!


jhack's picture

The long term most effective way:  do a great job, get promoted, and implement the changes that are needed.  Repeat until you are the CEO.  

John Hack

ken_wills's picture


...and let go of the rest.

Jazzman's picture
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I don't disagree with the above, you can't manage your boss or get him to change his behaviors.  However, you can change your behaviors. 

How does your boss like to communicate (Check out DiSC podcasts)?  Are you presenting your ideas in the best way for him to understand? 

Do your proposals tell a good story backed up by solid facts (What's my Visual podcasts)?