How To Deal With A Boss Who Bypasses The Team Leader

My boss is a good guy with great intentions and a friend from many years back.

I began working with him two years ago and our problem lies in him giving my staff assignments and work duties without even consulting me.

He did so for a year-and-half, and then I got an opportunity to head another division which also came under his supervision, but in an industry that he does not master.

After a few months in my new assignment he is doing it again, calling on my staff for information and asking them to report on matters related to current work and completely by-passing me.

He does that once and sometimes twice daily.

I usually find out from my staff that they're working on something he's asked them for.

In the beginning I ignored it, then I tried to implement a system where we're all on the same page and it didn't work. Then I confronted him and explained to him he should maintain the chain of command and come through me when he needs information from my staff.

Needless to say, nothing worked and this puts a lot of stress on me and my staff.

I've got a Master of Science in management, worked in big and small organizations for over 25 years and everything I've learned tells me what he is doing is wrong.

How do I deal with this situation? And, what can I do about it?

The Team Doc Says…

I'll just cut to the chase on this one.

Since this has been going on for so long, I don't see anything changing.

You either need to decide to live with this behavior from your boss or move on.

But there is something you can do to keep yourself in the loop.

And that lies with your team members.

You should set up a regular schedule of meetings with your team to find out what new assignments they've been given by your boss.

Plus you need to institute a communication link from your team when he has assigned them work.

Set up some guidelines that require your team members to notify you when your boss has tapped into them.

That could be a text, voice mail, email, or a hop into your office to let you know.

So the key here is to control what you can (as long as you decide to stay in that job), and do your best to ignore the rest.

About Denise O'Berry

Denise O'Berry is President of The Small Business Edge Corp, a small business consulting firm. A small business owner since 1996, Denise understands the challenges facing small business. She's lived them herself and helped hundreds of clients work through the frustrations, fears, and joys of owning a small business. Denise is the author of Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success, a practical guide about keeping the cash in your business - where it belongs. Find more resources and tips at deniseoberry.com and askteamdoc.com