When faced with bad leadership
Navigating the high expectation toxic environment
Leaders are especially vulnerable to micromanaging and meddling with especially if they haven’t had many opportunities to work with people and lead them to fulfill a strategy.
While it’s very important to have a leader that can deliver results, some of them go a bit too far, and unbeknownst to them, they alienate people away from their organization.
Speaking from the perspective of an employee or freelancer working for such a client, there is really only one thing that you can do.
Prepare an exit strategy.
Larger organizations are more capable of dealing with bad management but can still suffer from bad leadership at the very top. Startup leaders are especially vulnerable to becoming toxic, mainly due to the inexperience and immense pressure of the work.
Once you have the exit strategy in mind, you are able to take additional actions if you would like to try and resolve the situation. This is optional, for those that care for the organization and do not want to leave otherwise.
Speak with other employees (if you are a freelancer, there’s not much you can do, except gracefully exit the arrangement.) and see how they feel about the situation, or if this is something that only you perceive.
If you conclude it’s a department-wide issue, then consider bringing it to the next level. If this is an issue at the very top, consider a meeting where you will openly speak about these issues and gauge the response.
This is why you prepared an exit strategy, as you might get instantly fired because of this approach, but it’s better than just sitting there and being subtly slighted, covertly threatened with your job, and psychologically harassed.
You would not be the first person to think that they are incapable of doing anything, just because they’ve mistakenly aligned their identity with what their boss thinks of them.
Especially younger inexperienced individuals are vulnerable to that one.
However, over time, you get to realize that we do live in a capitalist society, and there are many, many opportunities out there.
Get your exit strategy ready, and leave.
You’re not missing out on much.