Dear Forum,
I am writing in a somewhat desperate call for help. I realize that the title subject I have chosen sounds like I'm just complaining about my manager, but the fact is that I am truly concerned that he wants to keep me (and others) in a short leash so that I (we) don't out shine him. For a reason I haven't really identified, he is specially controlling with me.
I have the fortune of having a boss that has a management style that dismotivates everyone around, that is narrow, avoids being the one to make a decision, treats people like machines, and is great at covering his behind and pointing the fault to someone else. He is the perfect micromanager thirsty for control of everything, even the wording in emails, preferring to attach a word document with the company's letter head inside an email, because that is more formal or official. Even the other departments complain about him for telling them how to do their work and sort their priorities according to his. The thing is, his priorities seem to change with the wind.
I am the one who has the most friction with him, to the point that he had me put my desk right in front of his to see what I'm working on. He has a policy that he has to be copied in every email we send. I honestly believe he does the exact opposite of what Mark and Mike recommend, in every way.
I am really not playing the victim. Everyone of my peers and the customers I work with speaks greatly of me. My peers and collegues ask me why he is like "that" with me, but I really don't have an answer.
So what would be your advice to handle the situation? Please just assume I am telling the truth about him. I have left out many details that would support my position in the interest of being brief. The job itself is interesting and the company is growing, but I am considering bailing out, just like 3 other peers did in the last 4 months. Is that the only way out? How could he be enlightened?

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Quit. You cannot change your boss appreciably.

Good luck.


asteriskrntt1's picture

Mark is right.

A control freak is a control freak and often, they do not have the resolve to look in the mirror in order to affect any change.

If you have all these good references, try to find something new. Perhaps one of your clients who speaks highly of you would like to bring you on board.


smallnetd's picture

Thank you both for your comments. I am already in search for greener pastures and have already begun talks with 2 companies. However, it seems a shame to allow this to happen and just run away from in. I have collegues here that I believe are really professional and have a lot to offer, but will sooner or later arrive to the same conclusion, to leave.

Is there really nothing that can be done?

ashdenver's picture

We had a manager like that here. She was new to the management role and really went overboard. She lost so many people in such a short period of time that it finally made it up the ladder. She was told that if she lost one more person in X amount of time, Corporate would begin looking at losing her (paraphrasing, of course.)

She had regular mentoring sessions with her boss's boss for several months and things straightened themselves out but it took about a year before she chilled out enough that people stopped dropping like flies. She will still occasionally micromanage from time to time but for the most part has learned that if you prove you're competent, she'll leave you alone - unless she wants to get rid of you.

Depending on the corporate culture you're in, you might be in a position to simply wait it out. Turnover is a wonderful thing. Of the people who were in this department when I started nearly 4 yrs ago, only 1 other original person remains. One. Including direct management, the next level up and the level above that. ONE.

WillDuke's picture
Training Badge

I'm definitely with Mark on this one. You can't change your boss. Waiting around hoping that your boss's boss's notice in time to save your sanity is a little risky for my liking.
Hey, if it happens before you find a new job, take that into consideration. But life's too short to suffer when you don't have to.

kklogic's picture

I wanted to add this - let's say for a moment that you did find a way to change your boss (which you won't). Do you want to stay in a business who has allowed someone like this to continue in this position -- particularly when there is flashing red sign to his incompetancy like employees frequently leaving?

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

You ask an unfair question - even if I'm not a fan of fairness, usually. :wink:

We have given you guidance based on your own description. I often get asked things in the forums, and then when my answer isn't palatable in some way (not saying you're saying that completely here), I get more info about things not previously revealed, and a second ask of a different question.

Based on what you have described, the answer is: really.


smallnetd's picture

To be fair, I tried to put in a nutshell a problem large enough that, like some have mentioned, does not have an easy solution. Someone gave an example of a somewhat similar situation, where in that case, the organization was mature enough to attack the root problem and it did solve it... eventually. In my case, this organization is not like that.

Before posting my question I had already been looking for other jobs because I am not willing to wait this out. Still, I wanted the input from others that may have already experienced a similar situation because maybe there was something I haven't thought about.

Thank you all for your comments. For now, what I take from them is that the solution and the responsibility of doing anything about it is out of my hands. For me, that means that it will be highly unlikely that I will remain there for too long. That's more or less what I was thinking before asking, so it was good to have such a clear confirmation. For my next job, I will surely dig deeper about the work environment before signing up.

If anyone would like to hear more about my particular situation, just ask. Of course, I will not disclose all names and specific details, but I could share with you my experiences and how it ends.