Your Nice Boss May Be Killing Your Career

September 4, 2013 | Greg McKeown | Harvard Busniess Review
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Chris spent years working for a supportive, encouraging manager at a major technology company headquartered in Silicon Valley. In fact, his boss raved about him. His manager gave him top ratings in his performance evaluations, space to do his work, and had never been controlling. He was, according to Chris, terribly, unswervingly nice. Picture perfect boss, right? Wrong.
His manager had been in the company for 20 years. He had learned how to survive in the bureaucracy: don't make too many waves, don't cause problems. He played the political game well enough to still be there but not well enough to strengthen his reputation. He had slowly lost his political clout. As a result, his team had been winnowed away to a fraction of the size it used to be.
His own reputation bled over onto the members of his team. For Chris it had a powerful effect on his career: he had been passed up three times for a promotion he was repeatedly promised. It was not what his boss was doing that caused the problem. It was what his boss was not doing.