Robert, from Sydney, Australia, wrote:

“I work for the most oblivious boss you can imagine. He’s the joke of the office. There are people in this office who do nothing but check their personal emails all day long, and he does nothing. There are people who’s quality of work is so bad, the rest of us have to give up whole days just to fix things. The worst part is that he doesn’t even notice those of us who actually care about how good a job we do. This guy is driving my coworkers and me insane!”

It can truly be frustrating when your boss seems to have no clue as to all of the things going on around him (her). It can be particularly de-motivating to employees who take a lot of pride in their work. A virtual mountain of research, in fact, points to ‘lack of appreciation’ as the single most common reason for low job satisfaction. But what do you do when your boss is wearing blinders? Do you march into his office, and tell him how stupid he is? Even with oblivious bosses, that’s a career limiting move. Do you try and police the quality of everyone else’s work yourself? Coworkers don’t generally appreciate that. Do you go over your boss’s head, and let his boss know what’s going on? Another career limiting move.

This is a situation where it is best to look beyond the present and into the future, because, unfortunately, there is very little you can do to correct the situation. You aren’t in a position to change your boss, and you aren’t in a position to change your coworkers. The one thing you do have control over, however, is your own performance. And rather than looking at a low performing environment as a problem, you should see it as a tremendous opportunity to shine.

You see, there is a universal truism that relates to all aspects of our lives: Quality leads to quantity. If a company delivers a consistently high quality and relevant product, sales eventually follow. Despite all the marketing in the world, the steak ultimately wins out over the sizzle. Similarly, if you consistently work at a high level, eventually, people will begin to notice. Not your boss with the blinders perhaps, but don’t think that everyone else doesn’t. It’s even easier to stand out when people around you are standing down. Set your own standards, and don’t let your environment drag them down. Your oblivious boss won’t be your boss forever, and when that change comes, you’ll be in a great position.

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