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How to handle a boss who shops the work around? (day labourer styles)

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"We ll take that.  It's our area and what we re setup for.  Big boss if it's a priority we ll shuffle the work to turn it around."

I think this line is assertive.

I ve had a couple of experiences.  Stood up to a very dominant boss earned his respect, he s one of my referees.

To me you've been successful in dealing with this situation. I think you could just keep doing what you were doing?


Stood up to another more manipulative boss.  She override me.  Her justifications were the end result was good and it was good teaming.  Basically she d got what she wanted and didn't care how anyone felt about it.   Lost my trust.  I got a new job and resigned shortly after.


Manipulative bosses do exist, unfortunately. And bosses rarely admit their own mistake. Many bosses are power aware and are too afraid of losing power. So if I want to correct my bosses' mistake, I will frame it as my mistake or others' mistake, such that the boss can step in and be the savior. Well, this is possibly not your style and my style is probably too manipulative or weak in power.



Luckily, I've been a team lead at a small team for a couple of times. My advice is by no mean the perfect ones.

When the big-boss sets me up as the team lead and assign people to me, the first things I confirm with my boss are my authority, responsibility, duties, and rights, for examples:

  1. Can I kick people out and/or hire interns?
  2. Do or will the current team members have other tasks? Boss will let me know who is dedicated to me and who is just helping.

I never assume that I am a feudal lord, such that my subjects are not the subjects of my boss. However, my new team members were mostly brought in and hired by me, so my boss does not even know those guys. So my situation was a little bit different than you. There were indeed some scenario that one of my team member want to work directly with a higher level boss, which is kind of off topic.

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