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HBR Guide to Office Politics (HBR Guide Series) by Karen Dillon

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Chapter 3

The Control-Freak Boss

The Problem

Your boss is smothering you. At first you thought, “It’s because I’m new—that’s why he insists on reviewing every document before I distribute it and sitting in on all my meetings.” But now that you’re no longer learning your role, the tight leash feels downright oppressive and embarrassing. The other day, he actually scolded you for having a hallway chat with one of his peers about an idea you’ve been kicking around. You’re hardworking, competent, smart. How are you ever going to escape your boss’s shadow?

Why It Happens

Your boss is acting this way for a reason—though he may not be aware of it. Think about what could be driving his behavior. Try to get past the easy answer—it’s probably not that ...

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