Don't rely on your boss for your success. Don't let a bad boss get you down

Due to a lack of skills and training bad bosses are everywhere

Did you know that half (43% *) of all people have left a job because of their boss? But because the vast majority of bosses don't have any special abilities or training, you're likely to end up replacing one bad boss with another. Instead of replacing one problem with another, find out how to manage your boss. The best way to manage your boss is in regular, high quality one on one meetings as I show you in this free, online course.

You see even good people can make bad bosses because they simply don't know what they should do, never receive relevant training and are put into stressful situations that they aren't equipped to deal with.

This is bad for your health, wealth and happiness

This means that employees like you end up with any of the following:

  • Feeling disconnected from your boss and team
  • Lacking guidance, meaning you're working on the wrong things or making mistakes unknowingly
  • Lacking financial and verbal recognition for your contribution
  • Lacking growth and career progression and in the worst cases
  • Being bullied and abused

And what this means is you'll be stuck in your job, get lower bonuses, increases and promotions, feel unvalued, hate your job and maybe even destroy your health. I know because I've been there.

Manage Your Manager in One on Ones with your Boss

To join the free course - register on the yellow button as soon as it is loaded

You can't change your boss - if you try you'll waste your time and fail. What you can do is change what you do with your boss. To manage your boss what you need to achieve is: understand your boss better, keep your boss informed about your contribution, set boundaries, find out if there's anything you're missing and grow your career. This is why the best way to manage your manager is regular 1 on 1 meetings with your boss.

Secret Tip for Managing Your Boss: Just like the first rule of Fight Club is that you don't talk about Fight Club, you don't tell your boss that you are trying to manage them. Because you don't have authority, bosses are insecure and don't appreciate being told what they are doing is wrong. Telling your boss you are managing them could damage your career. This is why you use the One on One meeting with your manager as a secret substitute for managing your boss.

This system works on a win-win basis. By understanding your boss's needs, preferences and working style you will be able to manage your boss by working smarter, not harder.

Interview Coaching & Interview Training

Bonuses, Templates and Downloads

This course includes:

  • A best practice One to One Meeting With Manager template,
  • The One-on-One Meeting With Boss Agenda,
  • Questions to Ask During One-on-One Meetings With Manager,
  • Email template: How to start one on ones with your boss.
  • 9 Mistakes not to make in One on One meetings with your Boss

Results and reviews

Review for Managing Your Boss Through One on Ones
"I used to pride myself on my diligence but now I realise the silly mistakes I've made. I wish I had started follwoing this advice on One on One meetings with my boss earlier in my career - it would've saved me a lot of wasted work, got me better promotions and definitely got me better bonuses"
Date published: 12/12/2016
Testimonial for Managing Your Boss
"I used to work hard, deliver results and then get upset when I thought my review was not fair. I blamed my boss for being unclear about what he wanted. Now I know how to take control of the situation"
Date published: 03/30/2017
5 / 5 stars
Recommendation for Managing Your Manager
"My boss seemed fine in the interview but it didn't take long to realise that they were a bad boss. I was feeling demotivated, disconnected and unvalued. I thought that the only way to fix it and get on with growing my career was to find another job. But then I started taking responsibility for managing my boss and I'm enjoying the challenge plus the progress I'm making"
Date published: 02/18/2017
5 / 5 stars

What causes Bad Bosses?

A challenge with managing your boss is that bad bosses come in many shapes and sizes. A bad boss could be good person doing a bad job. They could be ignorant or insecure or be struggling with their own problems. There's nothing special about bosses and they suffer the same problems as other people which means they could be anywhere on the spectrum from not socially well adjusted, through to serious mental and social unwellness right through to undiagnosed clinical conditions. Understanding the different types of bad boss will help you solve the particular problems. What type of problems do you recognise:

What are the types of bad bosses and how to manage upwards

Bad Boss Type: The angry BOSS / Bully Boss / Crazy Boss / NARCISSISTIC boss

We all know these people and avoid them but what happens when one is your boss? These bosses are critical (without being constructive). They use intimidation and fear to get their way. The secret is that the cause of this bad behaviour is insecurity and that they don't know any other way to assert their authority. This bullying can be toxic to your health and this boss will do no favours for you or your career.

How to Manage a bully Boss or Narcissistic boss:

Imagine that you are speaking to someone who doesn't know how to communicate well. For example you could be talking with a child, a crazy person or a non English speaker. What's happening is that they are trying to express themselves but are bad at it. Take some big deep breaths and prepare to address the situation with an unemotional mind. Ignore anything that is hurtful - that's not your fault and it's not helpful. Let it go. Instead throw all of that away and see if there is anything truthful in the message that can be used for future improvement. 

Keeping narcissistic bosses informed about your achievements gives them something that they can use to promote their own department with their own manager. Keeping them informed makes them feel in control and consulted.

Prevent them from getting angry in the future by keeping them informed of your progress. Consult them regularly especially where there are decisions that they want to input on. Inform them of issues before they become problems. Meet with them regularly to understand their touchpoints better. Check in with them weekly to make sure you are meeting expectations. Want to know how? Register for the free training : One on One Meetings with your Boss

Bad Boss Type: Laissez Faire Boss / Ghost Boss And Too Busy Boss

The ghost boss is the type of boss who is either playing golf or thinking about it. They believe in Management By Exception and their catchphrase is you do your job, and I'll do mine.  Ironically this is very similar to the boss who is too busy to give you the time of day because in both cases you have an absent boss.

On the face of it, the freedom sounds great but your boss is effectively absent which means they aren't helping to grow your career, correct your limiting blindspots, aren't recognising your contribution. You'll soon feel undervalued, disconnected and unimportant. Often these bosses have expectations from you which they don't tell you about. What inevitably happens is everything seems ok, until suddenly it isn't because years of neglect finally catch up, often disastrously.

How to Manage a Laissez Faire Boss / Ghost Boss / Too Busy Boss

This is a great case for managing up. Because the cause of this is usually that these bosses where never trained what they are required to do as a boss. Usually these are incompetent bosses. Which means they neglect their duties which negatively affects their employees. Now you can choose to get upset with your boss or you can accept the personal responsibility to do what is right and cover for your bosses shortfall. This means maintain communications with your boss. Keep your boss informed of your contribution, check in with expectations, give your boss the opportunity to input on important decisions, align priorities etc. This is what I show you how to do in this free training One on One Meetings with your Manager.

PS it includes an email invite template to request one on one meetings with your boss

Bad Boss Type: The Micromanager

On the other end of the scale we have the micromanager. The boss who gives you no authority. Who is always interrupting you and wasting your time. The boss who requires way too much oversight and detail. This is annoying because you aren't trusted to do the job the way you think it should be done. Your boss doesn't allow you to grow. This can destroy your confidence but mainly is a negative, inefficient way of working which means you'll struggle to achieve your potential. The constant demands from your boss will put pressure on your personal life too.

How to Manage a Micromanager Boss

Share your results so that you build a track record that they can trust. Communicate regularly so that they feel kept in the loop. Be sure to consult with them on decisions requiring their authority. But the trick to this is how you do this so that it doesn't drive you mad.

And how you do this is with regular dependable One on One meetings with your boss. The tip for managing your boss here is that when your manager knows they have a meeting booked with you in advance, they tend to leave you alone until the meeting. In the One on One meeting I show you how to group all of your communication into a super efficient time slot. The source of micromanagement is insecurity and a desire to control. But when you run a professional, dependable One to One meeting with your boss, then you will give your boss the confidence that you know what you are doing... You can also use the meetings to ensure that your boss knows what you are working on plus feels consulted. You can also use this meeting to set boundaries.

Bad Boss Type: The Over Friendly Boss

Best captured by the quote from “The Office” when Michael says: "Would I rather be feared or loved? Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me."

On the surface a boss that wants to be friends seems like a good thing. But when their desire to be liked gets in the way of their boss duties, then you'll be the one who pays the price.

How to Manage over friendly bosses

The good news is that over friendly bosses will give you more support to grow, more exposure and more flexibility to do the job the way you like. But you will be the one who has to make sure that you are meeting expectations, that your priorities are aligned, that you stay professional and focussed. How to do this is by holding One on One meetings where you set boundaries, stay focussed on the work agenda and ensure that you tease out everything that the over-friendly boss might ignore.

Bad Boss Type: The whirlwind Boss

This is the boss who is always on the move, constantly changing their mind. Impossible to pin down. Bad at administration including forgetting what they asked you to do. They lack focus. 

How to manage Whirlwind Bosses

These bosses are difficult to stay aligned with and are bad at recognising your achievements because they are already moving onto the next new thing. So this is why covering these topics in your One on One meetings is the best way to manage up. A regular meeting with a structured agenda provides alignment, consistency, dependability that is lacking in these managers. These 1 to 1 meetings with your boss are also the best places to ensure focus and make sure that necessary administration is taken care of.

What are the Myths about your manager which are self limiting beliefs

Myth #1: High performers don't need a boss

Just consider this - the highest performing athletes all have professional coaches. No matter how good you are, everyone needs guidance, support and encouragement to succeed. The most talented people will not reach their potential without support.

And if you're a high performer but your boss doesn't know what you're doing - you will not get the recognition you deserve. Or worse you will be performing at a high level but on the wrong things. And even high performers have blind spots that they are not aware of.

Myth 2: Your manager will speak to you when they need to

Your boss CAN speak to you whenever they want but most under communicate. It's far too common to get to your performance review and find out that you missed some performance criteria that your boss never told you about. 

Bosses don't communicate because of many reasons including: Insecurity, a desire to be liked, conflict avoidance, incompetence and a lack of boss training. Right now you could be doing something your boss doesn't like but hasn't told you. This is why you can't afford to leave communications up to your boss. Tip for managing your boss: take responsibility to make sure you meet regularly with your boss even if they don't ask. Use the email template provided in the free training for One on One meetings with your boss.

Myth #3: Some bosses too busy to meet you

The truth is that your boss does not have time to not meet with you. Your boss may have “more important” responsibilities but your boss is responsible for what you do and how you do it. The only reason for your boss not to meet with you is if your job has no relevance at all and if this is the case then you don’t have job security let alone recognition. The way to get job security is to make sure that you stay relevant. And how you stay relevant is by regularly meeting with your boss to ensure that you’re doing the right things. 

Keep your one on one time with your boss concise and useful. If your boss feels like they don’t need to meet with you because they don’t think what you do is valuable then explain your achievements and why they are valuable. If you don’t, you will fail to get recognition, get stuck in a role, get isolated which leads to a dead end.

When you make yourself valuable to the boss then your boss will realise that time with you pays off. 

Tip for managing managers who are “too busy”: A big risk of bosses that are “too busy” is that they have expectations for you that they don’t tell you about. That’s why you need to take responsibility for managing upwards to find out their expectations and demonstrate to them that you are making a contribution. Tip to manage your boss: Regularly check in with your boss to check in with expectations.

Myth #4: Hiding mistakes and problems avoids trouble.

Bosses do not like surprises. I can tell you this because my boss told me this and as a boss I don’t like surprises. The best way to “cover your ass” is to disclose problems and mistakes before they become more significant. You want your boss to find out when they can still help to fix them. Rather than afterwards when it’s too late. 

Tip to manage your boss: The best way to avoid trouble is to cover problems and risks  as part of a regular one on one meeting with your boss. There is more information about how to do this in the free course on one on one meetings with your boss.

Myth #5: No news is good news, but getting performance communication and being “coached” is bad news.

No news isn’t a sign that everything is OK, it's a sign of a boss who is neglecting their management responsibilities. Firstly for you - it’s difficult to operate in a vacuum without getting acknowledgement it’s difficult not to feel unimportant. Secondly unless you’re a mind reader, you are going to be out of alignment with the boss. Whether this is on priorities, ways of working or any pet peeve your boss may harbour.

Performance communication and coaching have got bad names because historically they have been misused to “manage out” poor performers. But this is a sign of an incompetent boss. Performance Communication and coaching are how you get better at your job, it’s how you grow and learn, it’s how you progress in your career (including financially) and it’s also how you find out about your blindspots that are holding you back.

Managing your boss tip: Don’t wait to be coached to fix problems. Be proactive with your boss to ask where you can be better. Be proactive by asking your boss where to improve your skills and capabilities. This will 180 degree change your relationship with your boss from seeing you as someone with problems they have to fix as a duty to seeing you as someone trying to be better who they can help as an opportunity. And of course the best place to have these conversations is in one on one meetings with your boss.

Remember every boss has something to teach you. And if your boss doesn’t have the time to train you themselves they can still refer you to other people or coaches who do.

Start Managing your boss through One on One Meetings with your Boss over here:



  1. Register for the free online course. Enlarge the window so that you can see all the content.
  2. Watch the videos.
  3. Put it into practice, using the free downloads and templates.


We offer a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee on our digital products. The material is based on extensive research and testing on what works. But as you are dealing with people and your individual execution will differ, it's impossible to guarantee that you will be 100% successful. 

If you are not satisfied with the service for any reason we want to know and will do what is in our power to make it better. For our other terms of service including privacy policy please contact us for a copy.


This includes online video courses, written content, templates and worksheets to download


Manager Foundation makes companies better places to work, improving employee productivity through job satisfaction. Manager Foundation primarily works with managers because these are the people that represent the company to it's employees. Managers have a tough job and we help them by sharing with them proven, time saving management techniques. Because we train managers how to be better bosses we know what problems bosses face, what causes bosses to behave the way they do and how to manage your own boss. Click here to get a map to our head office in Sydney.


Keith Tatley CA(SA): Keith is a reformed Chartered Accountant who believes in the value of people to business success. He is a yoga instructor and closet psychologist and likes to use mindfulness and awareness to create a healthier, happy, more productive workplace. Born & educated in South Africa. Spent a decade in London working in many international markets. Now based in Sydney for the coffee, yoga and beach.

Chantel Driver: Chantel has many years of researching developing training content which gives her an unrivalled perspective in workplace skills. Location: Johannesburg