What is worse than being a boss? Being a bridesmaid – 3 Leadership Hacks

A recent Google SEO search found that the only phrase searched for more often thanI hate being a boss’ is ‘I hate being a bridesmaid.’

My perspective on the later is limited, but as a many-times usher & best man I hated renting that ill-fitting used suit.

Llikely as much as ladies hate to buy that poufy dress they will only wear once.

I surveyed clients to find out what they hated about being a boss:

  • 90% of new leaders felt their company failed to prepare them for the new role;
  • 42% of new managers had no idea what they needed to do to be successful;
  • 50% only took the job because it came with higher pay; and
  • 75% did not want to be responsible for people

Most organizations do a lousy job of preparing people to be promoted.

Many supervisors are thrown into the deep-end to sink or swim.

They described their job as stressful, overwhelming and often regret being promoted.

If you are being considered a leader and in the absence of other supports, I would suggest you do three things:


3 Hacks to avoid being the bridesmaid:


1. Ask You Boss For Their Performance Objectives 

Everyone has a boss – even your boss.

And everyone has been given performance objectives.

Schedule time with your boss and ask how you can support their success.

Then take responsibility for following up to see how you can work together on those objectives.

Just as you contribute to your boss’ success, your team contributes to yours so ensure they understand what those expectations are.

click to learn about partnering with your boss

2. Resolve Difficult Situations

You will face difficult situations.

Your people will have personal issues. interpersonal conflict, and performance issues.

Do not let them fester

Commit to dealing with these issues promptly. 

Remember you are not in this alone. It may feel that way so get support from your boss and your HR team.

Click to learn about challenges

3. Schedule time with each member of your team

It is the ultimate in management irresponsibility to give instructions and then walk away hoping that everything will be done and done to your expectations.

Get out from behind your desk and see what is going on.

Ask them what they are working on, are they able to meet deadlines, do they need any help.

Remember the quality of your questions and conversations will give you all of the information you need to ensure you can meet your objectives.

Click to learn more about talking to your people


Do not be passive.

You are talking about your career, your success and your peace of mind.

Do not wait for direction from your boss or company that may not come in a timely way if at all.

Invest in yourself with coaching, mentoring and professional development.