Is Your Boss Salvageable?

Is Your Boss Salvageable?
by Coach Colle Davis

Do you want to salvage your boss? Is your boss even salvageable? Are they worth the time, effort, and expense of bringing them into line being a caring adult and an effective leader?

These questions come up too often, though they are seldom stated aloud. They arise because of the boss’s behavior. Behavior is the highest form of communication. The mouth can lie, but the body can’t.


The last time your boss acted in ways that were unproductive, scary, or unacceptable and you let it go, you were enabling them. You get part of the blame. Don’t you hate hearing that? It is time to change the boss, or maybe not.

Here are ten powerful processes for salvaging a boss or superior that you feel is worth using your resources so you, your boss and your company get better results.

    1. Call them on their BS. Give them short, concise, and documented evidence pointing out their unacceptable behavior. Couch the blow with, ‘What I see you doing is . . . “And the results are what you see.”
    2. Let their boss know how their behavior impacts you/the team and include specifics.
    3. Have a heart-to-heart with them at a separate/nonpublic time to explain what you are doing to, and for, them. You believe in their value and are willing to spend energy to help them be a more effective leader.


  1. 4. Be prepared for the unpleasantness to rain down on you.
  2. 5. Gird your loins for a long-drawn-out fight.
  3. 6. Reward and compliment the boss when they do something you have suggested.
  4. 7. Reward and compliment yourself when you see positive responses from them.
  5. 8. Ask for a raise. REALLY, it may be awkward and scary, and the results will surprise you.
  6. 9. Be ready to find another job. Yep, you’re being a brazen hussy may result in termination.
  7. 10. Celebrate any and all progress and tell others what you are celebrating.

Start by deciding if you want to be a change agent or an enabler. That is a hard choice and one that is easy to postpone or ignore. The problem with not doing anything is, they will escalate and at some point, you can ‘quiet quit,’ leave, or call them on their stuff and help them get better at their job.

What do you want for an outcome?

Look carefully into your motives for taking on this project. Perhaps less stress? Maybe receive more support, different responsibilities, a change of location, or any other reason you can think of may be worth what you are choosing to step into. Here is the best part, you can always drop back to the old way by staying quiet.

Oh, wait, staying quiet is enabling. Well darn.

Hint: Your input is seldom welcomed. If it is, there is a high chance
of you making a huge impact on their life and career.

Reward the behavior you wish to encourage, [that is a comma, not a period. The sentence is incomplete if you stop here] and ignore everything else. We train children using the same method. If you catch them doing something right, a bravo/atta boy/girl, and a smile makes them remember and stay in rapport with you. If they do an unacceptable behavior, ignore it. Tough to do, high rewards when you pull it off.

For more tricks and tips, contact me and we’ll figure out the risk: reward ratio to see if salvaging the boss is worth your time. Or if you need to move on.

Fun aside: If you want to remove your boss, we have techniques to accomplish that quickly and elegantly without getting caught or blamed. Contact us for the initial consultation.

Colle Davis, Executive Coach. For more help, encouragement, or to turbocharge your life, call or email me. I am a Senior Level Master Coach with over 30 years of helping corporate clients. Reserve your free twenty-minute Zoom call with me, and your life will never be the same.  804-467-1536 EST  In the meantime, stay safe and have fun.