Question: “My former boss and I have become the victims of another manager’s envy and greed. My boss was a brilliant executive who grew our business to ten times its original size. But then another senior manager, “Mike” became jealous of his success. Mike openly criticized my boss and tried to insert himself into our operations. My boss firmly pushed him out. Next, Mike got one of our employees to spy on us and began telling the CEO lies about our department. We ignored this, assuming that no one would believe him. Then the worst happened. My boss was demoted, and I was transferred to another office. Mike took over our department. Although the group is in a shambles, with the best people looking for jobs elsewhere, the CEO is too arrogant to admit that demoting my boss was a mistake. I know something very bad about Mike that occurred in his last job, but I’ve never mentioned it to anyone. Now I would like to make people aware of his deceitful character. However, I can’t afford to lose my job, and I’ve recently been told that the CEO considers me a problem. What should I do?” — Unfair Target
Answer: Your former boss came out the loser in an unfortunate game of political warfare. Regardless of who’s right or wrong, the reality is that Mike and the CEO are still in power.
For the sake of your own career, you should stop fighting battles in a war that’s already been lost. If the CEO has begun to view you as a problem, you could soon find yourself out on the street.
In the interest of protecting your job, you need to fly below the radar for awhile. Do good work, be pleasant to everyone, and keep your anger to yourself. To avoid feeling trapped in this unhappy place, update your resume and begin exploring new career options.
For tips on handling political maneuvers, see How to Handle Enemies & Adversaries.