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Franke James is Editor/Founder of Office-Politics.com and Inventor of the Office-Politics® Game.
Peter R. Garber has worked as an HR professional for over 25 years and is the author of many business books including: Winning the Rat Race at Work and 100 Ways to Get on the Wrong Side of your Boss.
Dina Beach Lynch, is an Ombudsman, Author and former attorney. An award-winning mediator, Dina served as the Corporate Ombudsman for the 7th largest bank in the US helping over 48,000 employees to resolve workplace issues.
Dr. Rick Brandon is CEO of Brandon Partners. He has consulted and trained tens of thousands at corporations worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries.
Dr. Marty Seldman is one of America's most experienced executive coaches. His 35-year career includes expertise in executive coaching, group dynamics, cross-cultural studies, clinical psychology, and training.
Arnie Herz, is a lawyer, mediator, speaker, author and consultant nationally recognized for his practical and inspired approach to conflict resolution and client counseling.
Dr. John Burton LL.B. M.B.A. M.Div. Ph.D. is an ethicist, mediator, lawyer and theologian. John is currently located in Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada, working with Canada's aboriginal communities.
My concern is a very strong, mostly new boys (30/40ish) network who socialize together, ally together in the office, and direct connect to the top through an old boy who has the confidence of the director...
I am female and have been out of the professional workplace
for 6 years. Prior to that, I was with the same government agency for
Not a New boy,
We teach organizational savvy which starts with awareness. It is very important to notice signals, as you have, but then to calibrate how serious they are.
When we read things like "wants my job, undermining, credibility, stymie actions, and public and private ridicule" our signals are flashing "red alert". Especially because he is close to the confidante of the deputy director. This gives him the ability to "manage the airwaves" about you but it may be very difficult for you to "manage the airwaves" about him.
It is tempting to take comfort from the good work you are doing, the strong relationship with the director and the positive review nine months ago. These things are important but unfortunately we have seen many instances where taking comfort from them turned into "false comfort".
The reality of the situation as you've described it, is that your direct report, through this access and rapport with someone who influences your boss, very possibly has more power than you. He can hurt you but there is probably little that you can do to hurt him.
So what are you to do?
If there is any possibility of transferring him to another part of the organization we would jump on it. An overly political, ambitious direct report who is marginalizing you and has access to your boss, requires a lot of focus and energy.
We think you will sleep much better if he works for someone else. Thanks for writing to Office-Politics.com
Rick Brandon, Ph.D. and Marty Seldman, Ph.D., Co-authors
FEEDBACK FROM READER:
I read about your site in an Atlanta magazine called Skirt. I logged in and checked it out and after reading the response you gave to Not a New Boy, I was really impressed. I thought everything you said to this woman was dead-on, and even though it may have been hard for her to hear, I'm sure it was very beneficial. I worked in Corporate America for over 10 years (for a Fortune 100), and I wish someone would have given me the advice you gave this woman. Great Job.
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