How To Destroy Your Manager
(WARNING TO HARRY POTTER FANS: BOOK 7 SPOILER INCLUDED IN FINAL PARAGRAPH.)
I love to see how people find my blog through Google and Yahoo searches. They find me through searches on serial killers and chihuahua behaviors. They find me when they are looking for the Sound of Music and stool softener. They hunt me down on weird topics like the Weather Channel and bunny costumes. Most of the time, I just sort of chuckle about how my complete lack of focus (some would call it blogospheric attention deficit disorder) pulls in readers from numerous topics. There was a search this week that really caught my attention, though: "How to destroy your supervisor." They had paired this phrase with "office politics," which is more likely the reason I arrived on their radar screen, but still it intrigued me that somebody was looking for a "how to" on destroying their supervisor. Mind you, I've had managers and supervisors where I had hoped a house carrying a little girl from Kansas would fall on them. OK, maybe not hoped, but it wouldn't have surprised me.
If you currently have a less-than-pleasant superior, should destroying him or her really be a goal? I had to chuckle at a recent letter I answered on Office-Politics.com that wondered when "office karma" kicked in to do the trick. I shared with the letter writer an early experience out of college with a supervisor and a manager... two of the most wicked and vile human beings on the planet. Surprisingly, these two taught me the most valuable lesson about bad managers and how to destroy them: do absolutely nothing to them. Yup, that's right. Do what you can to protect yourself, your reputation, and your integrity; they will eventually destroy themselves. The time frame is out of your hands, but it will happen.
I've yet to see a bad manager who didn't eventually self-destruct. I thought J.K. Rowling's conclusion of the Harry Potter series was nothing short of brilliant. Harry didn't kill Lord Voldemort. Lord Voldemort did himself in. The same concept applies in business. Ego. Power. Pride. Selfishness. Greed. Backstabbing. Disloyalty. All of the same traits which make them so unpleasant will eventually be their undoing. Before they "get theirs" you may have to decide to move on, or you may be presented with the opportunity to facilitate their downfall (but don't count on it). Either way, you can get back on your own career path, and they are out of the way. Then you can refocus on seizing your accomplishments.