Identify those Who Control Your Destiny
Who really controls your future? If you work in a large organization, can you really be sure that it is your boss? Maybe it isn’t. Maybe it’s your boss’s boss, or your boss’s boss’s boss? I have worked in large companies and learned only after several years that it was my boss’s boss that called all the shots. My boss would take every key decision to his boss, and she would make the final call. But because all of this was happening behind-the-scenes, I was in the dark for a very long time about what was really happening.
And sometimes the answer to “who controls my future?” cannot be found by searching straight up the corporate hierarchy. Perhaps your boss seeks out the opinions of your peers to learn about you and and “dirt” related to your performance. This is definitely unprofessional at best, and a bit sick at worst. As I describe in The Unforced Error, the most effective managers search out and build on his people’s strengths. The manager that does the opposite, by trying to sniff out anything negative about you, is insecure and immature and does not deserve the position that he has been entrusted with. If you learn that your boss is engaging in that type of activity, discreetly update your resume and try to find another job (perhape when the job market is stronger). Otherwise, you may get sucked up into a dysfunctional situation that leaves you hating your job.