by Faith Monson
Have you ever wanted to put out a “missing persons” alert for your boss? Does he or she sometimes feel like a figment of your imagination?
You know the type—never in the office, never at his/her desk, never answers the phone, never replies to email. Yet somehow, the missing-in-action boss always expects you to provide brilliant results. Sometimes it’s the boss you inherit, and other times it’s a new boss who never quite fills the void. (Hint: Even if your boss isn’t “absentee”, these are great ways to position yourself for success.)
Tip #1—Stay positive. Imagine that you’re locked in a chess game or some other type of strategy contest. Try to imagine your opponent’s next move (or lack thereof). Assume inaction, and strategize around the obstacle. Here are some “chess moves” to get action out of the absentee boss:
· Send an email, and follow it up with a concise voice mail summary of the email.
· In the email and voice mail, don’t ask for advice; rather, suggest a course of action so all the boss has to do is give a simple yes/no.
· Let the boss know that “give the urgency of the situation” you’ll be taking that course of action unless you hear back before the meeting/appointment/deadline.
· Have a “plan b” in your pocket for the absentee control freak who is likely to say “no” just for the feeling of control. If he or she has a favorite response, assume they’ll follow pattern and have it ready.
You could get mad—but all that will do is damage your own career. You could sink into apathy, but again, you’ll pay the price, not your boss. Or you could give yourself a promotion –and begin to manage yourself.