Chain of Command

Hey you rogue agent? You know who I’m talking about? You think you know better than everyone else… you want to do it your own way because you believe you have the right answers. Well stop it!!! 

I am watching organizational breakdown occcur because people do not understand their roles within the organization. If you do not like the answer your boss gives you, that doesn’t mean you go around them to force your opinion onto your boss. That is a sure fired way to create bad blood in your workplace, even if you are right. 

So how can you win? Three steps to success. 

  1. Determine your chain of command. 
  2. Let them hang. 
  3. Pick your battles

1.  Have your boss or organization make the communication chain clear. You shouldn’t feel that people are too busy or they won’t give you an answer.

2.  When you have an issue bring it up vehemently with your leader. If they tell you they have got it, trust them. Let them lead. You are the subordinate, and while you are appreciated in what you do, most things do not have a sense of urgency that require you to throw your boss under the bus. When you do have a different opinion, be ready to support it with facts and figures and urgency if it needs immediate attention.  But do cross the line, after you have done your part, they need to do theirs, and if it means they hang, no one will come back on you. 

3. Pick your battles. If you create an adversarial relationship with your boss, you will be doomed in your work place. You have to figure out what is worth fighting for? Like your credibility, or doing the right thing, ethically. But sometimes being right for the sake of being right doesn’t always rue the day. Many times there are different ways to approach a problem, and your idea is just one of a few solutions. 

Ask yourself:

  • Will I lose sleep over this issue?
  • Will I lose my job over this?
  • Will the company lose business over this?
  • Do I understand all the pros and cons?

Once you do all of that, figure out if is worth it. If it is, the. Go for it. Otherwise, let them hang. 

Once a lead/boss hangs a few times, they will see your value, and you will be a person they go to for your opinion and you will have a good working relationship as a go to person. 

If everything is a fight or done around the bosses back, you will create an environment of failure. 

Build bridges at work. It’s the only way to succeed.