AMY - Surviving a Boss Torpedo
Written by "Amy"
If you want to succeed in the business world, you must be able to read between the lines. Unfortunately, for straightforward and honest people like Amy, this can be a foreign language, and she wasn't bilingual.
Amy was well versed in non-profit organizations. She seldom focused on "advancement politics" or "managing up." Her goal was simply to do her job well. . .and she thought that would take care of her. She worked her way to a managerial position; she was even nationally recognized in her field. Her skyrocketing success at her job ended when her institution changed hands. The new team was primarily young and inexperienced. Under a new boss, Amy found herself in a hostile environment, being humiliated both privately and in public, and being increasingly isolated from the rest of the organization. Stranded, her S.O.S. was Rose Jonas. Rose taught Amy to recognize corporate agendas and the philosophy behind them, how to be more observant in her workplace, and what your supervisor might mean when the words were nice while shoving an organizational stiletto into your side. Instead of being sidetracked by her growing frustration at her current status, Amy let Rose guide her down a different path, arriving at a new position, her confidence intact.
Amy's new job didn't live up to its promise. She was asked to clean up a troubled, poorly managed nonprofit. When the leadership failed to support her through the insecurity of, resistance and hostility to change, she turned again to Rose, who proved to be a true resource for her. This was a no-win; she had to get out. Rose helped her shape the language for meeting with the personnel department head, and negotiate an impressive exit package.
Amy is now a senior manager at another nonprofit and is a candidate for the directorship. She has been noted in her institution for strong professionalism, good business sense, and political savvy.
"The remarkable thing," says Amy, "is that Rose would tell me how to proceed, what to say, and then she would tell me what the other person would say, and she was always right. It was as if she were in the room with me; it was spooky. I am much more capable of negotiating difficult waters as a result."