Now that you have overcome frustration working with your no-decision boss and make their decisions, you should review your circumstances within the company and understand the limits.
Subordinates remain isolated working for a no-decision manager. These managers give no praise, no compliments, no thanks, no recognition, no encouragement, no criticism, no blame, not even a comment. They do not react to anything you do. This seems negative but it isn’t. You are free to do what you want.
You decide when to go and see your no-decision boss and what to discuss. You fix your own objectives. You set your priorities. You can almost act as though you have no direct boss at all. The limit will come from the rules and norms of your organisation and from your boss’s boss. And of course, this freedom comes with the autonomy to decide whatever you want in your department or your organisation.
As part of this lack of feedback, no-decision managers never defend their subordinates. They consider that providing support or defence is equivalent to making a decision. But they are quick to blame subordinates when something goes wrong.
Career on hold
No-decision bosses keep you in the team because you make their decisions. They block all the normal channels of promotion through Human Resources and any move out of their department. This paradox surprises many subordinates. They cannot make decisions, but they decide to act and even plan ahead, to make sure you stay working with them.
With this in mind you need to manage your career differently. Promotions are not impossible, but they only come with active networking within the hierarchy of the company. Annual reviews, for instance, are only ever average with a no-decision boss, if you get one at all. Star performers lose this status regardless. Their successes become their no-decision boss’s, not their own. You need to address this too.
So subordinates, who decide to stay with their no-decision boss, have to review their objectives. Some are patient and decide to wait until the boss is discovered and fired. Some work with top management for a promotion within the company. Others keep working as efficiently as possible hoping they will get recognition for working well under a toxic manager. A few stay happy in their job regardless of the lack of decision-making.
Another consequence of working with a no-decision boss is job security. Your no-decision boss will never fire you. Firing someone is a decision. You might get fired by your boss’s boss, but not by your no-decision boss. While this gives you even more freedom, it enables toxic subordinates to thrive under no-decision managers disrupting the department even more.
Remember the dangers
Keep in mind the dangers. Remember your no-decision boss never accepts accountability for your decisions if they turn out to be controversial. They will do everything in their power to push the blame back on to you for a wrong decision. The wider the range of decisions you make, the more exposed you become.
Remember also, that if your decision is successful you will never get the credit. Your no-decision boss will steal accountability and take responsibility for a good decision. But they go further, your involvement and contribution disappears.