Q. I volunteered to serve on a committee to boost my visibility here. But I keep getting assigned time-consuming projects on top of my normal job. The projects aren’t very interesting, and it feels like the committee chair is just dumping chores on my lap. Should I quit this stupid committee?
Q. For years, I reported to the CEO. But the company brought in someone just below the CEO level, so now I report to this new manager who’s terrible. I rely on my new boss to get a sense of the CEO’s priorities, but after he comes out of meetings with the CEO, he’s vague about what’s next. Plus, he takes credit for my ideas. How would you handle this?
Q: When we’re up against a crunch deadline, our CEO tries to bolster our confidence by giving us a T-shirt with “YGT” on it. It stands for “You Got This.” I don’t need to be told I can tackle a tough challenge. I do need better support—more resources, more time, more cooperation from the CEO. Can I rip up my shirt?
Q. I work closely with the owner of a consulting firm. He’ll only let people ask a question, not explain what’s going on. He says that’s just his personality (he says he’s a “D” and an “I”) and his style is normal for his personality type. It’s driving me crazy. What good is it to have me here if I can’t provide information on the status of projects or situations?
Q: My boss says, “Be more transparent in your communication.” But I don’t talk about people behind their back. I don’t speak in code—I use plain English. I’m a straight shooter, and I’m not afraid to tell people the truth. Isn’t that transparent?
Q. I manage people much older than me (I’m 29). They really do know more than me, and they have much deeper industry experience than me. I’ve told them that—and that I don’t have all the answers. But when I say that, they laugh derisively. How can I defer to them without coming across as a softie?
Q. I’m amazed by the demands my employees make. It never stops. They want to work from home. They want more time off (one guy requested a three-month sabbatical!). I never expected being a supervisor would require fending off constant outlandish requests. What can I do?
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!
Q: I keep getting grief from my board for not developing my managers, but there are only so many priorities that I can address at once. How can I satisfy the board without dropping the ball on some other top priority?
Q. My boss told me I’m a weak manager—that I’m too humble, that I defer to others, dither rather than make quick, decisive decisions and I’m too eager to apologize. To me, that’s the kind of humility great leaders embody. Am I right?