Q. I’ve been a midmanager here for 10 years. Recently, I got a new boss who’s decades younger than me, and I’m suddenly an outcast. I’ve been treated terribly by this person, even though I’ve been supportive and made his job easier. When I asked what gives, he said, “You have to prove your relevance to me.” Outrageous!
A. Stewing in anger and resentment won’t get you far. Let me suggest a better response: Probe to determine how he measures success in your role. How does he define “relevant” and what outputs or outcomes does he want from you? Ideally, you can both agree on metrics that indicate the extent to which you’re excelling (or not) in your job. From there, you can decide whether to play his game or bail. Just be forewarned: I’ve seen what happens when malcontents succumb to their outrage. It colors everything they do.