Dealing effectively with a horrible boss starts with having a Kingdom perspective.
A Kingdom perspective is a Biblical worldview, but it’s more than just applying Biblical principles. It considers reality in the context of God’s plan for the Kingdom’s advance on the earth.
A Kingdom perspective is essential to responding properly to a horrible boss. With a Kingdom perspective you have the foundation for successfully applying the principles in the next three posts and turning your horrible boss situation into an opportunity for the expansion of the kingdom of God.
Here are some foundational truths of a Kingdom perspective one must understand to respond successfully to one’s supervisor:
1. Horrible bosses are people too. Believe it or not, your horrible abusive boss is made in the image of God. (Gen. 1:27). And perhaps even more unbelievable, in all likelihood he is attempting to do the best job he can. Managing people is not easy, and it always looks easier to a subordinate. Giving your boss the benefit of the doubt by assuming that like you he is trying to do the best he can puts you in a much better position to respond properly to him.
2. Your boss is in a God-appointed position of authority. Positions of authority are appointed by God even if the persons are not. As I’ve addressed here before, authority is necessary to the proper functioning of the kingdom of God on earth. Such positions are ultimately reserved for Christians. Therefore, the positions of authority must be respected, even if the people in them do not merit that respect. (Rom. 13:1). This respect is is not mandated because God is a Nazi but because He is strategic.
3. Your boss is God’s tool for making you more like Jesus. (Rom. 13:4-6). Let’s face it, most of your friends won’t risk the friendship by pointing out your weaknesses. Your boss, however, is interested only in your performance and will not hesitate to tell you your weaknesses. If you refuse to hear the message because of the manner in which it is delivered you are missing the voice of God.
4. Horrible bosses are everywhere. I’ve counseled with many people over the years who run into the horrible boss and then come to me hoping I can get them a severance so they can quit. The problem with that attitude is it ensures one will never be promoted. If you work long enough you will run into a horrible boss. They are everywhere. If you cannot successfully respond to a horrible boss you will eventually hit a roadblock at any job if you stay long enough. Quitting may be the first option for non-Christians. For Christians it should be the last, and it should be rare.
5. Successfully dealing with the horrible boss is a condition of promotion. As I’ve addressed here before, power is surrounded by problems. One of the principles of the Parable of the Talents is that problem-solvers get promoted. (Luke 19:12-27). A horrible boss is a problem to be solved and those who solve it will likely be rewarded with additional authority.
Understanding these five truths will give you the proper perspective to turn an oppressive boss into an opportunity for the advancement of the Kingdom.
Next: What not to do in responding to a horrible boss. GS