Truth be told, this is already in the past. I'm looking for opinions now to help get a closed-loop process so I can feel certain I learned the right lessons from this experience.
At the end of Q2 my boss asked me to prepare a detailed expense report for my area, and then supplement the data with a request for how we want to expand in 2H, and next year. The goal was to take this report to another area of our business and request supplemental funding to accomplish our expanding mission. Everything is above-board so far, and follows exactly what my boss and I had been discussing from 1H of the year.
I prepared the draft report and presented it to him which he quickly approved. Then at the end of our meeting he asked for me to "reevaluate" the report, and add in room for new headcount. I gently commented that I believe the current staff is prepared to handle the mission, and considering the economy I'm confident that we can satisfy the mission for several quarters without adding more heads.
I was thanked for my input, then instructed exactly how many heads to request. After the report was revised I was to go ahead and begin championing the request throughout the organization. My concerns at the time were:
- My boss isn't involved in my team's daily operations. I'm confident we did not need additional headcount to satisfy our expanded mission, and I'm also confident that my boss could not have "had more info" justifying the adds
- This boss has a reputation as an empire-builder
- I would be the sole face championing the request. At the end of the day it is me, not my boss, justifying each line item
- The additional headcount ballooned the bottom-line by over 50% which added risk the entire request will be rejected
* Obviously my boss is my boss. If I do not follow a direct instruction it could have a serious detriment to my career
* I may find that I pick up a reputation as a loose-cannon who undermines my superiors, also something not very beneficial to my career
* I'm a boss too. I know when I give a directive to one of my reports I expect it to be followed. If we need to discuss it so they understand my motivation then that's OK. But at the end of the day I expect my directs to follow my directions. It's reasonable to expect my boss to feel the same way
I know how I handled this situation. But I'd very much like to collect a consensus from the folks on this forum. How would you handle this situation?