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Leadership / Management Tip
What to do when you are taken for granted.

There are times when even the most successful leaders find themselves in situations where they are taken for granted. This could be real or perceived. First, you must have significant emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and situational awareness to know if your situation is real or just a figment of your imagination. If after careful observation, analysis, and reflection, you are uncertain, then assume you are misunderstanding the whole situation. Don't feel sorry for yourself and don't look for any insignificant sign to reinforce feeling sorry for yourself.

If after repeated observations and thoughtful analysis and reflections, you continue to be convinced of your reality, the next step is to isolate the problem to its source. You may be unappreciated or underappreciated by your boss, co-workers, clients, or the entire organization. If your boss knows your value and appreciates you, nothing else really matters. Carry on with integrity, continue to work hard, and advance the mission, vision, values, and work of your organization.

The worst situation is to be taken for granted by your boss. Generally, this scenario arises if your boss is clueless or lacks emotional intelligence, is jealous of you and your accomplishments, feels they must compete with you, and/or they simply like another person they like to promote and give accolades to. These are all tough scenarios. No amount of additional hard work, creativity, or productivity will improve your predicament and place you in your boss's good graces. In fact, the more and better you do, the more it will exacerbate your situation. The only way out of this situation is to exercise patience and eventually move to a new role. Don't try to prove your value to your boss or hustle for your boss's attention. It won't happen. They are intimidated by your competence, simply dislike you, or like someone else more, and will only double down by investing less in you, and investing more in their favorite sycophants. Be patient, maintain your integrity, continue to do great work, and when the right opportunity presents itself, move on to a new role.

Naturally, you must exercise significant self-control, avoid feeling sorry for yourself, never allow the injustice to get a rise out of you, and remember that you never have any control over how others behave. You can only control how you respond to the situation. Also remember that no matter how unjust you believe the situation to be, your boss has and will have control over your livelihood and your next move. If your boss is mistreating you now, they will do much more damage to keep you from advancing to the next level. Be patient and your opportunity will come.

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Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2023
Last updated: Saturday, July 15, 2023