For my first boss, my initial reaction was surprise and bewilderment. I was a young manager and couldn’t believe that such a person existed in any organisation. But the surprise didn’t last long. Frustration soon set in, feeling that the whole department had stopped moving forward, and that I was spending useless time collecting information for decision that my boss never made.
I watched a few colleagues work with him in anger, sometimes for many months. They refused to accept that their boss never decided anything and entered into heated discussions almost every time they presented him with a decision that only he could make.
I never managed to convert my frustration to anger. I realised that he, my first boss, was never going to make a decision so there was no point, in my opinion, in working myself up into this emotional state for no results. Looking back, perhaps these colleagues were able to get some release in their bouts of anger, whereas I just stayed in frustration over the whole time I was with him. My only release came from leaving the company.
For my second boss I went straight into frustration, without passing through the surprise phase. For both of these situations I quickly updated my CV and started looking for a new job.
For my third no-decision boss, my reaction was,
‘Oh no not again!’
This time though, I decided not to leave and not to work in frustration any more. I had discovered a more positive way to work with these managers.