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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

By cscalise ·
When there is a conflict of interest between what your boss wants, and what you know to be best for the Company, how do you manage?
I am a talented IT manager for a company where my boss has decided that he is going to blackmail the President of the company into giving him more budget and resources by letting systems fail. I cannot in good conscious let this happen, and even though we are understaffed I have been picking up the slack. That has gone against the wishes of my boss. I have worked for two years developing a core business system on a new network infrastructure. I take great pride in what I do and I feel that my reputation is at stake. I know that I need to move on, because it is an impossible situation. The problem is that I know that noone will maintain either the system or the infrastructure and it will be only a matter of time until there are critical failures. Any advise from anyone that has been in similiar situations would be helpful.

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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

by tbradley In reply to Conflict of Interest: Bos ...

You really are between a rock and a hard place. You can't in conscience let the system fail deliberately, I agree, and on the other hand jumping over the head of your boss and going directly to the president is also a no win situation, as your boss can set you up for a fall.

I would start looking for another position, just so you have a fallback in case your cause fails. I've spent 4 years myself building a large school network from the ground up, and having anything happen to it would be like watching my child get hurt.

The thing to do, tho it'll be hard is to give your boss enough rope to hang himself. Start getting EVERYTHING in writing. Be polite, but feign forgetfullness, and ask for written confirmation so you can refer back to it. Any steps then taken towards forcing a failure will be documented. If your boss persists, and wins, you then have ammunition to take to the prez.

Also prepare a recovery plan, in writing, and have it ready.

Other than this, I can't think of much more that would help.

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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

by cscalise In reply to Conflict of Interest: Bos ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

by pjpatiky In reply to Conflict of Interest: Bos ...

CS - No matter the topic, do as your boss directs. Eventually his superiors will ask questions, perhaps of both of you. Then you can give some greyed out testimony that you were following orders.

When you give your extra effort to avert your bosse's directives, are you not doing the same thing he is doing to your compnay? That is, doing something other than directed?

You are also worried about what will happen to the Company, or more specifically to your responsibilities, if you decide tosave yourself and move on. That is not your problem.
One, stay in the saddle and wait for Management to confront you and you boss. Or, two, make up an excellent resume and get out of there and forget the whole thing.

This is that fork in the road where you decide to save your own skin or the Company's. The decision is simple. If you continue to disregard your bosse's directives how long will it be before he has to render a periodic evaluation of your participation, which is submitted to his bosses?

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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

by cscalise In reply to Conflict of Interest: Bos ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

by matt In reply to Conflict of Interest: Bos ...

In the position that you are in I would not bypass the "chain of command", no matter how tempting it might be to do otherwise. Managing in this situation is difficult and it sounds not only like there are some budgetary concerns, but also some communication issues between all parties involved and some potential hurt feelings as well. It sounds as if this problem has almost become bigger than your budgeting and resource problem.

My suggestion would be to prepare the documenation and justification that your boss needs to convince sr. mgmt to allocate budget.

This means putting together a detail plan on what needs to be done, establishing the costs for that plan and then justifying the plan based on return on investment for the company. Work together with your boss to enlist his support to at least in doing a presentation to upper management.

Remember that it is sr. mgmts job to look out for the business as a whole and make the hard yes/no decisions on expenditures and initiatives. This means looking at the big picture, which is not just IT budget and resources, but also operating costs, sales and a myriad of other information. It just may be that you and your boss can make a convincing case, but other business concerns will dictate that they hold off on the plan.

However, if you do all of this and your plan is rebuffed, you can rest assured that you did do the best job and the failing was not yours or your bosses, but sr. mgmts inability to understand the issues and respond appropriately to the situation.

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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

by cscalise In reply to Conflict of Interest: Bos ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

by MrsPost In reply to Conflict of Interest: Bos ...

You're stuck. That is the concise summary of your position.

The advice I would give someone in this situation would be to document, document, document. Print and save e-mails. Keep memos. Keep a journal of conversations with your boss.

Andwhile you are doing all of that do exactly what your boss requires and no more. I can understand the drive to do your best job and the need to support the company. But you are not in a position to make the necessary decisions to do that.

Keep the core functions working without drawing attention to it or yourself. This means doing it quietly and without sacrificing the other work you are supposed to be doing.

The key here is the documentation. Print and keep the e-mails since they can 'mysteriously disappear' from the system. Keep a brief log of conversations with your boss. It would be best to keep the paper file and the journal off company systems if you can.

If you get dinged for lack of performance then you can bring thatammunition to the powers that be. If they are going to put you on probation, not give you a raise, etc. you don't have much to lose and everything to gain.

It sounds crummy to have to do that but learning the CYA moves early on will help you in your career.

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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

by cscalise In reply to Conflict of Interest: Bos ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

by noodle In reply to Conflict of Interest: Bos ...

If you have loyalty to the company, and want it to grow, you have to understand that the "technically less informed" dole out the funds. And its a basic rule to say "no" to every request that is over projected budget.
Sometime asking 2 or 3 times works, but presenting your request , clearly predicting the disaster approaching that has prompted this request being told "NO" and then waiting till the meltdown WORKS EVERTIME!
I have been in a few startups they all had tight budgets and they all had to experience the see I told you so method at least once.
After the prediction future requests validity increases.
I begged for Oracle our Sql Server hit it's size limit and soon things would start smoking, no failures yet so my request fell on deaf ears. So I made concern known, waited till the meltdown. I didn't turn my back on the servers but, I only have two hands. You sound like a great Admin, do what you can but don't kill yourself. Realize Tuff Love is common in the technology field. Just CYOA (COVER YOUR OWN A$$) when it's all over they remeber who raised flags before it happend. You can save your rep. by reiterating that it'll hit the fan if something isn't done soon to the appropriate people. Tell them your concerns but not your thoughts on how your boss is going to get what he needs.This will show your awareness, and not look as if your new net design was faulty.
Bottom line if you leave this company, now it'll take another 2 years before you close enough to see this happening again. Because it happens in all sizes of Business, I've seen it at Apple , Oracle and some little ipos it's a fact of I.T.
My best advice is to think of yourself as a MASH unit and if you can't get the resources
well you've seen the tv show right?
Hope this helps.

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Conflict of Interest: Boss vs. Company

by cscalise In reply to Conflict of Interest: Bos ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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