Overcoming the desire to please your boss

By Chip Espinoza via greatleadershipbydan.com   Article

“Two of the top challenges young professionals report facing while making the transition into management is a change in relational dynamics with former peers at work and the fear of disappointing the boss who promoted them. One young woman shared her distress when one of her best friends at work unfriended her on Facebook. The newly minted manager asked her friend, ‘Why the unfriend?’ She replied, ‘You are the boss now, and I don’t want you creeping on my Facebook.’ It is not uncommon for there to be a bit of a cold spell while the relationship with a peer goes through redefinition.

At first glance, how your peers see you and what your manager thinks about you are unrelated, but being overly concerned with your manager’s estimation of you may inhibit your ability to effectively lead your peers and the development of your own leadership perspective. … It is a good thing to want your boss to be pleased with you. However, the danger comes when you become more concerned with the approval of your boss than being your own person or exercising your own voice. …

The first step to overcoming the desire to please your boss is to accept there will come a day when you disappoint him or her—not necessarily because you have done something wrong, but because you did something different from what they would do. It is inevitable! Even the best of mentor/mentoree relationships end in conflict. It is a right of passage that eventually results in reconciliation and mutual respect. …

The tension you may experience with your manager is often the result of leading from your own perspective. Not unlike what you experience with peers, your personal growth triggers a redefinition of the relationship with your boss. When you understand the relational dynamic that is taking place, there is no need to be defensive, make excuses, or villainize. No need to fret. It is a sign of a new phase of your leadership development. One of the first stages of leadership development is to develop your own perspective.”

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