You’re working hard; you’re focused on getting things right, and you’re totally committed to the best possible outcome. The problem is, your boss seems completely disengaged. Even more distressing is that he (she) also appears completely uncommitted to you and the rest of the team. It’s really hard to stay motivated when your leader isn’t leading. What do you do?

It’s possible that your boss has become disenchanted with work – perhaps feeling bored, under-appreciated or under-challenged. Equally likely is that he is experiencing some kind of stress, either at work or at home. Either way, his actions (and inactions) can have a long-term effect on your career. Doing nothing really isn’t a very good option. Here are a couple of things you can do:

Begin with a frank and open discussion with your boss. Tell him how you are perceiving things and how it is impacting you and the team. It might be a bit awkward at first, but there is a good chance that he has no idea how his behavior is affecting the people around him, and he will appreciate your honesty. This might be just the motivation he needs to get him back on track.

If, however, your talk has no effect, or if you get the impression that he actually just doesn’t care, there’s really only one course of action that makes sense. It has two parts:

First, make a point to stay as motivated, focused and productive as possible. You need to do everything you can to make sure he doesn’t drag you down with him.

Second, look for opportunities to distance yourself from him as soon as you can, whether it is changing departments, switching shifts or changing jobs. Find someone to work for that is as engaged as you are.

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