Detail from Ancient Greek black-figured dinos (wine-bowl) with the first chariot in the procession

Detail from Ancient Greek black-figured dinos (wine-bowl) with the first chariot in the procession
“Sophilos Dinos” (wine-bowl) showing guests arriving at the wedding of Thetis and Peleus. In the first car -Zeus and Hera, 2nd-Poseidon and Amphitrite. Source: British Museum (Wikicommons)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

At the breaking point with my boss

I'm taking up another reader email today.

"Hello Max, 

I am fortunate to have found your website, the content is niche and glorious like no other site I have seen. You are helping people though their breakpoints and I am stuck between Scylla and Charybdis. I work at a major investment firm in the City of London. I have a successful career, started as a two year IB analyst and now I am an investment director at a credit fund with a $250 MM book. My boss, Paul, is one of the PMs. He's been faltering in the last two years during the time we've shown a 1.6% gain. He's lost the confidence of his investors and partners and there's talk of having him ousted. I am one of the two contenders for his replacement. Since then he's been on my case, has vetoed some of my decisions. He has made me his enemy. What can I do to fight back ? He's lost his mojo, he should just retire and resign. Before we have been getting along well  for almost six years.

Thanks. -Tim
"

How close is the team to have him replaced ? I assume you're going to buy him out.

Sooner or later when you are successful this is going to happen:

"[Your boss] will make you his enemy."

I look at it cool and dandy, it's simply the price for success. It's natural. Don't fight it. Expect it. So what you are saying is that Paul has made you his enemy since learning you are likely to replace him. This is commonplace not just in financial services but everywhere. Side observation, I don't know the terms of his contract and what terms lead to suspension or dismissal.

Most people go through life with the erroneous belief their bosses love them or something. Until that time comes. Until the time comes when you are named to replace them. They don't have a clear exit option, don't want to leave, and hate to see you in their place.

Tim, you are not stuck between a rock and a hard place ! Your boss, Paul is !

You need to get a hold of yourself buddy. Cheer up ! The Gods of Olympus are smiling on you ! [I am using Greek mythology reference since you were first using it.] This is your time to shine !

"The only way out it through."

Did he mentor or helped your career ? Sometimes the masters hate it when their trainees, "cubs", overtake them.

Here's what can happen,

1. You can have a soft breakup [before a hard one].

Go play gold, cricket, hockey, chess or whatever you and him play, let him first win and then beat him silly. I think of game defeat as a soft breakup. That might bring him to his senses.


2. Since him, not you, is crushing, bring him to his breaking point. He's building toward it, but he hasn't reached it yet. Everyone has a breaking point.


3. Do you know how to dominate ? If you're not sure of your own value, you don't know how to dominate. You are weak. Work on that. You are not his servant. You are there for yourself. Does this guy scare you ? Does this guy have the "superstar effect" on you ? The superstar effect, borrowed from sports, inflicts a mental strain or paralysis on people. Don't fall for it.

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