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            [post_content] => 2016 photo Sydney Finkelstein Sydney Finkelstein is the Steven Roth Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, where he teaches courses on Leadership and Strategy.  He is also the Faculty Director of the flagship Tuck Executive Program, and has experience working with executives at a number of other prestigious universities around the world.  His latest
bestselling book is SUPERBOSSES: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent. He will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 29th September 2016.


IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business – what would they be?

SF: Great leaders create other great leaders.

IMI: What does this mean? SF:  Imagine a world where the work you did really mattered. Where the person who you call your boss changed your life by helping you accomplish more than you ever thought possible. Where your own opportunities would multiply in ways you may have been afraid to even dream of. That’s the world of “superbosses”, leaders with an incredible track record of generating world-class talent time and again. By systematically studying business legends and pop culture icons like Lorne Michaels, Ralph Lauren, George Lucas, Larry Ellison, Miles Davis, Charlie Mayfield, and Alice Waters, what superbosses actually do comes into focus. And anyone can do these same things. Superbosses identify, motivate, coach and leverage others in remarkably consistent, yet highly unconventional and unmistakably powerful ways. Superbosses aren’t like most bosses; they follow a playbook all their own. They are unusually intense and passionate — eating, sleeping, and breathing their businesses and inspiring others to do the same. They look fearlessly in unusual places for talent and interview them in colorful ways. They create impossibly high work standards that push protégées to their limits. They partake in an almost inexplicable form of mentoring, one that occurs spontaneously and with no clear rules. They lavish responsibility on inexperienced protégées, taking risks that seem scary and foolish to outsiders. When the time is right superbosses may even encourage star talent to leave so they can then become part of a strategic network of acolytes in the industry. IMI: Where should we look for further information? SF: I put together a list of interesting articles related to this subject: Superbosses aren't afraid to delegate their biggest decisions The rise of the superbosses George Lucas: Management Guru? The Power of Feeling Unthreatened Hire People and Get Out of the Way Sydney Finkelstein is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 29th of September. To register for this event, please click here. [post_title] => "Great leaders create other great leaders" Six Word Wisdom from Sydney Finkelstein [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => great-leaders-create-great-leaders-six-word-wisdom-sydney-finkelstein [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 19:54:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 19:54:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15724 [post_author] => 66 [post_date] => 2016-10-07 10:03:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-10-07 10:03:20 [post_content] =>

Almost half of Irish business leaders would be willing to engage in potentially unethical actions to meet financial targets, according to a recent survey by EY. This startling statistic is consistent with another, perhaps less surprising, finding from a survey last year that business leaders are among the professionals least trusted by the general public to tell the truth. It may also help explain why we have witnessed a decade or more of corporate malfeasance not just in Ireland, but globally, and at some of the world’s most esteemed enterprises.

64_Ethics   Source: It begs the question: why and how do leaders lose their way and what, if anything, can be done about it? Some subscribe to the ‘bad apple’ theory: managers are good or bad; organisations are powerless to change this fact, and unethical behaviour can be blamed on those few renegades of poor character. Indeed, some alarming research suggested that the psychopathic personality type in particular is three times more prevalent in the corporate world than the general population. Others believe that managers may start out valuing fair compensation for hard work but that over time, the rewards – such as bonuses, share options, power, perks and press coverage – fuel a focus on extrinsic gratification to the detriment of inner satisfaction. So-called ‘careerism’ ultimately leads to a state of emotional detachment that corrodes personal integrity. This ‘dark side’ of leadership may account for some of the more egregious cases of corporate wrongdoing. However, for every psychopathic executive or megalomaniac manager, there are many more well intentioned leaders (at least half, according to EY) who try to do their best but fall short from time to time and lose their way. The reasons are manifold, but can more or less be categorised as follows:
  • Groupthink;
  • Blind spots;
  • Delegated misbehaviour;
  • Wilful neglect;
  • Ill-conceived goals; and
  • Flawed rationalisation.


Have you ever thought about speaking up at a meeting but decided against it because you didn’t want to seem contrary or unsupportive of the team’s efforts? If so, you may have been a victim of groupthink. The phenomenon occurs when a group’s desire for conformity results in irrational or dysfunctional decisions due to a lack of constructive challenge and independent judgement. Organisations by their very nature are highly susceptible to groupthink – their boardrooms especially so. When further facilitated by a general breakdown in governance, the results can be truly catastrophic – Anglo Irish Bank being a prime example.

Blind spots

We all have blind spots and often do not see the full picture. These natural biases can blur the obvious so that, at best, we miss information contradictory to our expectations or, at worst, become so wedded to certain perspectives that our judgement becomes clouded and our decisions compromised. In the workplace, when minor lapses in judgement due to these biases are accepted, incremental transgressions are also likely to be tolerated until – seemingly, all of a sudden – blatant disregard for ethical protocol has become ‘the way things are done around here’.

Delegated misbehaviour

For most executives, the idea of intentionally engaging in corrupt acts is unconscionable. However, sometimes a job has to get done ‘one way or the other’ so, in theory at least, delegating it to someone else might be a highly convenient option. This enables the manager and the company to maintain a veneer of respectability while outsourcing the most unsavoury elements of a business transaction to a third party. The ongoing bribery scandal at Walmart in Mexico is a good example and shows how badly this strategy can backfire.

Wilful neglect

Similarly, executives – while not explicitly ordering their subordinates to commit unethical business practices – may, on occasion, turn a blind eye to how certain results are achieved. This tacit acquiescence seems to have been at the heart of the current troubles at Volkswagen, which were compounded by a secondary shortcoming of ethical governance at the carmaker: nobody felt they could speak up about the illegal practices.

Ill-conceived goals

Managers often work by the mantra: ‘what gets measured gets done’. When such ‘measurable’ goals and their associated rewards are fundamentally ill-conceived, in that they fail to properly consider how they will drive employee behaviour, bad outcomes often follow. We don’t have to look much further than the recent financial crisis to see how this panned out for the banking sector.

Flawed rationalisation

This is a catch-all category and is best explained with typical statements that may accompany some of the techniques involved:
  • Devaluing the victims of the wrongdoing: “He got what was coming to him. I had to put manners on him”;
  • Diffusion of responsibility: “Everybody does it. You have to if you want to survive in this game”;
  • Advantageous comparisons: “Sure I kept 5% for myself. Small beer compared to what my boss skimmed off ”;
  • Justifying the cause: “I know we may have broken a few rules, but it was in the company’s best interests”; and
  • Improbability of being caught: “I may as well. Who is going to find out?”

The solution

So what can we learn from these examples of corporate ethical failure and their contributory factors? Is there something about the pursuit of profit that inevitably drives certain people to cross the line? Can the epidemic of enterprise-wide moral flabbiness be cured? The requisite response is twofold and involves the combination of embedded structural ‘antidotes’ in the organisation and behavioural accountability on the part of the organisation’s leadership. In other words: an ethical organisation, guided by an ethical leader. To forge a culture of integrity, organisations must implement policies, procedures and programmes that translate the organisation’s core values into established patterns of behaviour. They need to establish a robust ethical decision-making framework at all levels. They must invest in training and continuous communication to ensure the message is conveyed and understood. And add to this a supportive and effective board. It is not for the faint-hearted, as the process will often require a cultural change that goes to the very heart of the business. It will almost certainly fail unless senior executives, especially the CEO and the board, ‘walk the talk’ and model those appropriate behaviours. As a former ethics lead at a large US corporation once remarked: “We could have had all the ethics workshops in the world. We could have even had Jesus, Moses, Mohammed and Buddha come and speak at them. But if, after all that, someone in a leadership position behaved in a way contrary to our standard, that instance would teach more than all the experts combined.” Therein lies the problem. By the time someone has achieved a position of leadership, they are likely to have received much instruction along the way, but its main focus is likely to have been on the ‘hard’ tasks or mechanics of running an enterprise – determining strategy, assessing opportunities, managing dispersed teams and so forth. Business ethics, if taught at all, is often treated as an arcane subject and related instruction couched in theoretical, even theological, terms. Or worse, it is delivered as part of a ‘tick-the-box’ compliance exercise. Either way, it is too far removed from the day-to- day business of leadership to have any compelling interest or lasting impact. As a result, leaders tasked with steering the enterprise in the right direction may find themselves largely on their own, bereft of practical guidelines and without useful frameworks, tools and skills.

The leader’s challenge

The challenge for leaders is to equip themselves with the understanding and tools necessary to articulate an authentic governance style. This will enable them to set the tone for their organisation and, with the right building blocks in place, embed a culture of integrity. This demands reflection on the part of the leader and a genuine commitment to assess their personal leadership style and competencies as follows:
  • Clear core values: what drives me?;
  • Emotional intelligence: how do I relate to others?; and
  • Authenticity: what makes me unique?
When a leader understands the principles that guide his or her behaviour, has developed a high degree of emotional intelligence and can articulate the qualities that define their authentic leadership style, they can then begin to inspire others to follow their vision. They will also remain sure-footed, even in the face of moral adversity, and will instinctively know the right thing to do. More importantly, they will motivate others to do likewise. This is leading with integrity.
Ros O’Shea is the Programme Director of the IMI Diploma in the Management of Governance and Compliance   Ros lectures on the topic of ethical leadership and governance on a wide range of IMI programmes. She is also an independent director and a partner in Acorn Governance Services.  _____________________________________   [post_title] => Why leaders lose their way [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => leaders-lose-way [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 19:50:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 19:50:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11952 [post_author] => 65 [post_date] => 2015-09-25 15:20:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-09-25 15:20:30 [post_content] =>
sue cox
Sue Cox is a Learning and Development Consultant and a Tango dancer.  She has worked extensively with the public and not-for-profit sectors as well as the corporate world and has developed and led social inclusion projects across the UK. She is interested in how we develop our own potential and how we connect better with others in order to be more effective in our organisations and relationships. She will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 8 October 2015 IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business - what would they be?

SC: Want better leadership? Develop your followership.

IMI: What does this mean? SC: Many organisations invest heavily in developing and recognising good leadership but give little or no thought to actively cultivating good followership. Leadership is, by definition, a relational process however there is no leadership unless there is a leader/follower dynamic. When we focus only on developing leadership, we give visibility and importance to one aspect only, neglecting the contribution of followership and the untapped potential of the relationship between the two.  How much do we lose by doing so? A powerful illustration of what this looks like in practice can be seen in Argentine Tango. There is a misconception in Tango that the leader is in control and the follower is relatively passive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tango is complex, improvised and co-created in the moment and it depends entirely on the leader/follower dynamic.  Good followership amplifies and strengthens leadership; good leadership maximises the followers’ contribution. The quality of their connection elevates the whole dance to a greater level of performance. Misconceptions about leadership and followership are seen as often in the boardroom as they are in the ballroom. If you want to release potential in your organisation and be resourceful and creative in the way you respond to change and opportunity, the challenge is to develop everybody’s ability as both leader and follower, so that each can play their full part in co-creating the dance. IMI: Where should we look for further information? SC: Visit my website at 


Sue Cox spoke at the IMI National Management Conference on Thursday 8 October. This event has now reached maximum capacity however if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email your contact details and company name to [post_title] => "Want better leadership? Develop your followership" Six Word Wisdom from Sue Cox [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => want-better-leadership-develop-followership-six-word-wisdom-sue-cox [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 20:42:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 20:42:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22610 [post_author] => 80 [post_date] => 2018-04-05 09:27:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-05 09:27:06 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_22612" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Jack Welch was CEO of GE for 20 years. In a changing world, is he still the model for leadership? Jack Welch was CEO of GE for 20 years. In a changing world, is he still the model for leadership?[/caption]   When discussing the challenges facing business leaders it seems almost de rigeur nowadays to talk about the level of change organisations are facing. The challenge to equip leaders to build the future in these uncertain times is certainly daunting, with seismic geopolitical shifts (in this context the Trump administration seems to be the gift that keeps on giving), disruptive technological change (how many of us even fully understand the implications of bitcoin, blockchain and whatever new technology will be unleashed on us next) and even severe climate and weather events. The very ubiquitous nature of these challenges may however inure us to their real potential as both a threat and an opportunity to affect a true paradigm shift in how we view leadership, a classic case of an issue being undervalued through overuse. . The Concept of Leadership From the perspective of the 21st century the development of our concept of leadership is a little clearer than it may have been in the past.  From this remove we can see how the largely male, heroic models of leadership have greatly influenced the literature and teaching in this field. The business leaders who are most often cited, Jack Welch, Steve Jobs etc. are broadly from a similar mould and the models of leadership, with the exception of Servant Leadership (as a servant leader you put the needs of others, particularly team members, before you even consider your own, but how many executives really model themselves on this type of leadership?) extol an assertive, confident, out-going and mainly extroverted style. In fact, the Myers Briggs type most associated with leadership is the ENTJ (extraversion, intuition, thinking, judgment), which is described as the ‘general’, again exposing the military underpinnings of the leadership canon. We can clearly see this bias in the continuing popularity of books like Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people”, the pseudoscience of NLP and programmes that teach executives how to create the right ‘impression’. Given the genesis of the leadership concept it is understandable that people might misconstrue the notion of leadership presence as the ability to impose oneself (and influence people), but there is real hope that we are about to experience a genuine shift in the paradigm. . Unhappy Influencers [caption id="attachment_22617" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Richard Boyatzis studied how leaders influence those around them Richard Boyatzis studied how leaders influence those around them and how that effected their lives and careers[/caption] . Recent research conducted by Richard Boyatzis and colleagues from Case Western Reserve University examined the relationship between the extent to which people adopted an ‘influencing’ leadership style and their later satisfaction with both their careers and their life in general.  Interestingly they found a very strong negative correlation between these factors, i.e. the more people adopted an influence style the less satisfied they were with their careers and lives. Boyatzis and colleagues did not have an objective measure of career success, so one could still argue that the ‘influencers’ did better in their careers, but Boyatzis’ research does tell us that irrespective on how well an outsider might judge your career progress, the ‘influencers’ are less happy about their situation.  The researchers concluded that those who adopt an influencing style are pushing on their environment and trying to get more from others, e.g. they tend to show a high need to control social situations. The crux of the problem, especially in the context of a VUCA world, is that pushing on or trying to control an environment that is in a constant state of flux, verging on chaos is unlikely to be very effective and will certainly lead to people being highly dissatisfied and unhappy in their work and indeed their lives. Now would be the perfect time for the leadership movement to learn the lessons of evolutionary psychology that success in a changing environment falls to the most adaptable, those who can outlearn their competition.   The Adaptable Generation This will require a cadre of new leaders who are less ego-identified with success and winning, who don’t see problems as opportunities to impose themselves and demonstrate mastery of the environment. Rather we will see the emergence of leaders who can go with the flow, adapt to new realities quickly, work through and with others as either leader or follower and pivot gracefully as cherished paradigms fall away and hard-earned experience proves ineffective as a guide to new problems. There is no doubt that the idea of women in leadership is in the current zeitgeist and may or may not create a fundamental shift in how we see leadership in the future.  I am however hopeful, that as the new model emerges we will see less emphasis on the old machismo of the ability to impose oneself on others and on the environment and more emphasis on the willingness to adapt, change and ‘flow’ with emerging realities. Bruce Lee used to tell his students to ‘be like water’, perhaps that is not a bad metaphor for what leaders will need to become.   imi-colm-foster-810Dr Colm Foster is Director of Executive Education at the Irish Management Institute. He has acted as a leadership development consultant to organisations in the US, Asia and Ireland, particularly specialising in Emotional Intelligence. The next IMI Diploma in Leadership starts on 2nd May, 2018. [post_title] => 21st Century Leadership: The Shifting River [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 21st-century-leadership-shifting-river [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-09 13:19:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-09 13:19:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries

21st Apr 2017

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries is an executive coach, psychoanalyst, and management scholar.

Related Articles

"Great leaders create other great leaders" Six Word Wisdom from Sydney Finkelstein
Why leaders lose their way
"Want better leadership? Develop your followership" Six Word Wisdom from Sue Cox
21st Century Leadership: The Shifting River

Do You Hate Your Boss?

According to the most recent Gallup “State of the Global Workplace” study, half of all employees in the United States have quit jobs at some point in their careers in order to get away from their bosses. The figures are similar or even higher for workers in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Do you hate your boss? (Photo source)

The same survey, consistent with previous ones, also shows a clear correlation between an employee’s engagement (that is, motivation and effort to achieve organisational goals) and his or her relationship with the boss. While 77% of employees who said they were engaged at work described interactions with their managers in positive terms (for example, “my supervisor focuses on my strengths”), only 23% of those who were “not engaged” and a mere 4% of the “actively disengaged” did the same. This is worrying because research has shown that an engaged workforce is a key driver of organisational success, and yet according to Gallup, only 13% of employees worldwide fall into that category.

What are the “bad” bosses doing? Frequently cited grievances include micromanaging, bullying, avoiding conflict, ducking decisions, stealing credit, shifting blame, hoarding information, failing to listen, setting a poor example, slacking, and not developing staff. Such dysfunctional behaviour would make anyone unhappy and unproductive. However, whatever sins your boss commits, managing your relationship with him or her is a critical part of your job. Doing it well is a key indicator of how effective you are.

In my work as a researcher, management coach, and psychoanalyst, I have spent many decades working with senior and high-potential executives to help them resolve dysfunctional dynamics with their managers. This article explores the options available to anyone in the same predicament. Much of it will feel like common sense. But I have found that people often forget that it’s in their power to improve bad situations, so having the options systematically laid out can be very helpful.

Practice Empathy

The first step is to consider the external pressures your manager is under. Remember, most bad bosses are not inherently bad people; they’re good people with weaknesses that can be exacerbated by the pressure to lead and deliver results.

So it’s important to consider not just how they act but why they’re acting that way. Most bad bosses are not bad people; they’re good people with certain weaknesses.

It may seem difficult to feel for a manager who isn’t giving you what you need or whom you actively dislike. But as Goleman showed years ago, empathy can be learned. And recent research from other scholars, including experts at the Menninger Clinic, suggests that if you practice empathy consciously, your perceptions of others’ feelings will be more accurate.

The second step is to look at yourself. In my experience, people who struggle to work well with their bosses are nearly always part of the problem themselves: Their behaviour is in some way preventing them from being recognised and valued. This probably isn’t what you want to hear, but by acknowledging that you might be doing something wrong, figuring out what it is, and adjusting accordingly, you might be able to salvage the relationship.

Start with some introspection. Consider, as objectively as you can, any criticisms your boss has offered. In what areas do you need to improve? What aspects of your behaviour or output might irk him or her?

Also, ask yourself what might make your personalities clash. I often find after a fairly short discussion with clients that their managers are “transferential figures,” representing authority figures from the past with whom the clients have unresolved issues. Transference of this kind has a powerful influence on behaviour and should always be explicitly considered in figuring out dysfunctions in any boss-subordinate relationship.

Next, observe and seek advice from colleagues who work successfully with your boss. Try to understand his or her preferences, quirks, and hot buttons, and get some pointers on how you might do things differently. When you approach colleagues, though, make sure to frame any questions carefully. For instance, instead of asking a coworker why the boss always interrupts you when you speak, ask the person “How do you know whether to speak up or not? How can you tell when the boss does or doesn’t want input? How do you express disagreement?” Also, take advantage of group training programs to get advice from peers.

If feedback from your colleagues doesn’t provide any insights into how your behaviour might be hurting you, the next step is to try talking to your boss about the problem. Again, approach the conversation delicately, framing your questions in a positive way: “How can I better help you achieve your goals?” rather than “What am I doing wrong?” Position yourself as seeking advice or even mentoring. Request a one-on-one meeting to do this, and give your boss an idea of what you’d like to discuss: performance issues and the development of your management skills.

If you’re lucky, he or she will appreciate your willingness to engage and will point out areas to improve, building the foundation for a closer relationship. If your boss stonewalls or rebuffs you, however, that’s a clue that the problem isn’t you, and you need to figure out what—if anything—you can do to alter things.

Offer a Chance to Change

If you conclude you’re not the one derailing the relationship with your boss, only then should you openly suggest that the two of you don’t seem to interact well and that you’d like to remedy the situation.

There are a number of ways into this conversation. If you have the opportunity, you can tack it on as an extension of a frank discussion you’re already having. If a moment like this does not present itself, you have to initiate the conversation yourself. Most conflict management experts recommend doing that in a private setting where you can’t easily be interrupted and where it will be difficult for either of you to leave. To have a constructive talk, it’s important that people feel they are in a “safe place.” Invite your boss out to lunch, perhaps, at a restaurant where you are unlikely to meet colleagues. Explain that you have some private concerns you want to discuss away from the office. If a specific business problem, such as the failure to meet a crucial deadline, came about because of the friction between you, you can say you wish to talk about this event and its implications for other projects—the kind of postmortem that Jeanne and Richard had. Let your boss know to expect a difficult conversation—one that can’t be sidestepped. If you just say you want to discuss interpersonal issues, the boss may find some crisis that takes priority.

When you begin a dialogue, you may even discover that your boss is not consciously aware of the degree of your discontent.

Organise a Mutiny

If you can’t improve things by changing your behaviour or opening lines of communication with your boss, and if your colleagues feel the same way you do, you should consider alerting HR and the boss’s bosses to the problem.

In taking this route, however, you need to make a substantial business case for why your boss is a liability—someone whose poor management will ultimately cause the team’s, unit’s, or organisation’s performance to suffer. You must also be prepared to make a credible threat of litigation against the corporation. You’ll need documented evidence of the boss’s negative impact and inappropriate behaviour, such as witness statements and examples of correspondence that clearly breach company rules or HR guidelines. The more people willing to go on record with similar complaints and evidence, the harder it will be for senior managers to ignore or deny the problem.

Lodging a formal complaint is definitely a last resort.

In the absence of compelling data indicating a pattern of bad behaviour, HR representatives are unlikely to be allies; very often they will take the boss’s side.

Many subordinates who have not prepared a strong case against the boss have ended up losing their jobs rather than forcing a change of behaviour or practice. Mutiny and whistle-blowing can also damage your future job prospects. Lodging a formal complaint, therefore, is21st-centurya last resort.

Play for Time or Move On

If you are unable to change your relationship with your boss by taking the steps described, and if there isn’t potential for group action, then your options become more limited.

In these situations, most employees simply go through the motions at work and minimise contact with the boss. There is always the possibility, or hope that he or she will move on. But remember that in playing for time, you also need to set a time limit, so that hanging in doesn’t become a way of life. If it does, you will feel disengaged, disenchanted, and even embittered. And that may spill over to other realms, contributing to depression and a range of additional psychosomatic reactions.

The better solution is to look for another job while you’re still employed, exiting on your own terms. Beef up your résumé, contact headhunters, line up references, and start interviewing. Having a bad boss isn’t your fault, but staying with one is.

Adapted from HBR article 

Manfred will be delivering an IMI Masterclass in Cork on the 24th and Dublin on the 25th of May. The Leadership & Beyond Masterclass session will help you better understand the dynamics of leadership, teams and organisational culture along with how to create or manage an effective 21st century organisation.  For more information on the Masterclass please contact our programme advisors on 1800 22 33 88 or email

Manfred F. R. Kets de Vries is an executive coach, psychoanalyst, and management scholar. He is the Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development and Organizational Change at INSEAD in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi.