Losing a Great Boss

Losing a great boss

We regularly hear people talking about their work and what they like about it, where they struggle, and what they wish could be different. And, there is a consistent theme for those people who really love their jobs – they have a great boss.

One of the things many of us in the working world today have in common is the experience of the loss of a great boss. Whether your boss has gotten promoted or taken a position elsewhere, losing a great boss can be very disruptive to your life and to your career.

Sadly, great bosses are not a dime a dozen in this day and age, so while many people may respect their boss, a great boss seems to be something of a rarity.

People regularly describe a great boss as passionate about the work, fair in how they manage differences in people, committed to helping their team and the organization get the results needed for success, and most importantly, they care about the individuals on their team.

With a great boss, you believe you matter to them. 

Losing that boss, who paved the way for you to succeed and grow, can be very frightening and fill you with grief.

So what can you do when you lose a great boss?

  • Give yourself time to grieve. Like any other loss, the loss of a great boss leaves a hole in your life and your heart and it takes time to move from looking back to turning forward. Be kind to yourself during that time.
  • Spend some time thinking about what made that person a great boss for you. How did they help you, challenge you, invite you to stretch and grow; how did they mirror back your gifts and talents; how did they increase your confidence that your contributions made a difference; what did they do to remind you that you, personally, matter?
  • Look for other ways to get some of that same “stuff” now that your boss is gone. It may no longer come from one person, but it’s important that you consider the range of relationships that nourish your soul. Consider other leaders in your organization, colleagues you trust and value, a coach who is a fierce ally.

Great bosses remind you that you matter. Don’t go too long without that kind of support in your life.

If you have a moment, please share your story of losing your great boss and how you handled it.

- Your Coaches and Allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting

If you’ve lost a great boss or are struggling to find purpose in your career, contact us today. We’re ready to help you step into your leadership and clarify your meaning and passion.

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  • Linda Carpenter, Stephanie Smith

    Carpenter Smith Consulting

    Linda Carpenter and Stephanie Smith started Carpenter Smith Consulting in Portland to support individuals and teams who dream about having the power, impact and influence to create success and meaning in ... Read full profile
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