Sunday, June 1, 2008

What NOT to say about your ex-boss

Scott McClelland burned his bridges big time last week when his book criticizing the Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq was released.

At first the media pounced on the news from a former White House insider with great glee. However, now the burning embers are cooling quickly as people assess his underlying motivations for writing the book. While his willingness to give his opinions will most likely be used to fuel the growing anger with the current administration, how will history define Scott McClelland? What will the war critics do with Scott McClelland once they are done with his insider knowledge? That remains to be seen.

There are a number of ways to deal with a manager you don't agree with.
1. Arrange to communicate with your employer in an attempt to get them to see issues from a different perspective. Apparently, McClelland didn't go for this option as his book surprised everyone in the administration.

2. Assess your boss's personality and leadership style and look for ways to effect change in a manner which will engage them positively. Being a team player can earn you the right to speak up and wage your argument in a rational manner.

3. Resign your position accepting the fact that there is no way you can stay "on board" with the status quo.

If your attempts to encourage change in the workplace have failed, it can be a challenge to leave with grace. Giving an appropriate length of notice, cooperating with the training of your replacement, and exiting with a spirit of gratitude and good will are positive ways to leave a position with nobility.

It might be good to re-think criticizing your boss once you exit the door. You may need to call on them for a reference at some point although you can't anticipate ever doing so at this moment. And even though you may not envision it presently, you may want to use their services in the future. Who knows, your former employer may re-think matters and seek your expertise on some level in the future.

Wearing sour grapes is never becoming, nor is trading your integrity for the dollar sign.

Photo: PaulPaladin/

1 comment:

Rich said...

Good one. Too bad more people don't think before they talk.