Is Someone on the Job Running Scared, Fearful You are Going to Take Their Job?

You might have been the one joking about one day taking over your manager's position.  He or she may have noticed lately that you are a threat.  Sometimes we underestimate those who appear like they are secure with their positions.  We assume that they trust us.  But once you verbalize your desire to have anything of those who lead over you, you become someone to watch out for.

I got the opportunity to observe a student elevate into a teacher role over a period of years.  When the student had finally reached his plateau, it was time to find a way for the teacher to push his student out the door.  Now on the surface, this was a good thing, that is if the student felt he or she was ready.  But there was some growing that still needed to be done and besides the student was looking for opportunities close by, not far away.  This one who had learned the ropes didn't want to believe that his beloved teacher was pushing him outdoors when those around him tried to warn him.  What the student forgot, was that the teacher remembered his cocky comments about one day being "the boss" and so when the time was right, he had to push his student away.  No one likes an arrogant student or one who acts like a know-it-all, these flaws in his character was quite evident to the teacher.  It would only be a matter of time that they might bump heads.  Now because the teacher didn't want to hurt the student by setting him up to fail, despite past offenses, fear, and the temptation to want to pay him back, he did what was best, he encouraged him to go elsewhere.  "Did you consider looking into my position with another establishment?" Of course, the opportunity would move the student and his family far away.  The threat would be gone permanently, so he had hoped.

I share this story because I think that some people tend to get too comfortable with their bosses.  They go out for drinks and meals and discuss personal business.  They invite their workers to their homes.  They offer to run errands and do favors.   For some individuals this sort of thing works, but for others not so much.  Where exactly is the line?  Who draws it?  And when do you not cross it?

You see those close knit relationships are nice as long as everyone knows their role and don't mix business with pleasure (such was the case between teacher and student until the student started acting arrogantly), but they are also detrimental to your future work relationship. Sooner or later one is going to say or do something that the other doesn't like, especially if it has something to do with his or her position in the company.  When this happens, just like the man who thought his boss "just loved him,"  a worker will soon hear about him or her "being a perfect fit elsewhere."

Just something to think about.

So what are some signs that show that a boss feels threatened by you?

  1. He starts acting like every idea you have isn't right, wouldn't ever work, or could possibly cause more harm than good.
  2. He acts visibly jealous when you talk about all of your accomplishments--even though he had a hand in them.
  3. He looks for faults.  He finds issues with how you do things that he never had with you before.
  4. He teases, name-calls, or does other things that make you question whether he is just joking or is serious.
  5. You hear from others that your boss has said some things about you personally and/or professionally that appear like you don't know what you are doing or what you are talking about.
  6. He takes your ideas and doesn't give you any credit.
  7. He often encourages you to get a similar position elsewhere and may even go so far as to help make some things happen.
If you feel like your boss is threatened by you, find a way to talk about your concern, but whatever you do don't act like you are better, know more, or can handle every situation perfectly.  If you are a believer, pray for your boss or anyone who has been giving you trouble lately.

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