Romancing the Bullies

Dear Dr. Sylvia, 

Help me understand. My boss is driving me crazy I want to help and be a great colleague, however, what he is doing makes no sense. 

He ignores those who want to help him, to be a resource, and make our company great again. 

However, he ignores them, and instead he ‘romances’ those who are the biggest bullies and I know, will take advantage when the time to strike is right. 

I think we may end up losing our best employees and end up bankrupt.  

All I can tell you is that he sings the praises of the jerks and ignores everyone else. 



Job concern

Dear Concerned, 

You should be! You see your boss is still ‘looking for love in all the wrong places.’ 

I think all leadership development programs should have an entire module on helping leaders become self-aware.  

And that means they should learn to observe their own behavior (not just that of those who report to them) and understand why they choose to do what they do, so they can make better decisions. 

I was just reading about a rather famous person who ended up creating a great deal of havoc because he never came to grips with his childhood anger at his father. 

It sounds like your boss may be in the same situation.  

When you have a father, who is only interested in performance, and you are the dedicated sibling to be the performer you know how to act. 

So, you can continue what is familiar. 

You end up finding a mentor who is stronger and more competent than you (just like your dad). 

And then you do whatever you can to gain their favor, just like you did as a kid. 

The hope is that you will finally be the shining light and win the long sought after approval. 

I hope this makes sense. 

In any case, the question is “what can YOU do?” 

You are, as they say, ‘between a rock and a hard place.’ 

And yet, you need to do something, whether it helps or not is to be decided in the future. 

I suggest you have a talk with your boss and begin to add some personal info about you. 

During the conversation, you can bring up something about your own relationship with your father and then ask him about how his relationship was. 

People often love to talk about themselves and he may just give you enough room to say something like…. “Have you noticed how much (name) your mentor is like your dad.  

That may be enough for your boss to think in a new way. 

At that point, you need to bow out. Do not become his coach or therapist. Instead, simply suggest he go that route and talk with someone who can guide him to see how he is still coveting recognition from his dad. 

This is a BIG issue and I suggest you and he read Don’t Bring It to Work for a detailed way to work with old patterns that show up in present times. 

I hope this helps. 

Which Stress Monster Are You

And, by the way, I  would love you to join my 7 Day Sanity Challenge. You can join at any time in the next few days! 

To your success, 


Sylvia Lafair