You may be a sales ninja consistently crushing your monthly goals, or rock star developer solving complicated problems with elegant solutions.

Well, even if you’re neither ninja nor rock star, you know you’re a dedicated employee with a strong work ethic and loyalty to your company. Even your team members acknowledge the great work that you do.

But how does your direct manager treat you?

Business means growing profits and to many bosses, pushing employees to their limits to exceed revenue targets is all that matters. When things are humming and people are meeting their numbers, you may not see them much. 

But when the team misses its target and profit suffers, your boss may come out of the woodwork, call an impromptu meeting, and begin to lecture about all your wrongdoings and what needs to change for you to keep your job. As fast as he swooped in to drop the hammer, he bails the scene, having inflicted emotional damage and leaving the team walking on eggshells. 

The hit and run manager

Kelly Merbler, a prominent leadership coach, keynote speaker, and principal of the Kelly Merbler Company knows this scenario all too well because she once was such a “hit and run manager.” 

Having experienced her own remarkable leadership metamorphosis through personal mentoring by leadership legends John Maxwell and John Stahl-Wert, she says “hit and run managers are affecting not only the employee engagement numbers, [but also] the well-being of the people they are responsible for.”

If you find yourself the repeated victim of a hit and run manager, Merbler shares three tips to best deal with this situation.

1. Have an honest conversation with your manager. 

While managers may be quite adept at managing the work, they may be quite inept at leading people. Merbler had no clue how her abrasive style was affecting her team member. That is, until one brave soul confronted her. “I had no idea I was even doing what I was doing because it was how I saw my managers work before me,” says Merbler. It never occurred to her the damage she was inflicting until a direct report spoke up and made her aware of what it was like to be on the other side of the fence.

2. Lead those around you.

You may not have the title of manager, but that has nothing to do with your ability to influence the team you work with. “Everyone can be a leader no matter what title or role they are in,” says Merbler, adding, “If your team members are craving better leadership, show them what that looks like and connect with them as much as you can. If they aren’t getting it from the person with the title, then be the person who can make them feel valued and appreciated as their co-worker.”

3. Assess your situation and decide if it’s time to make a change.

As the old saying goes, people don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses. Merbler urges employees who don’t feel valued or appreciated to consider calling a recruiter to explore other options. “Have [your recruiter] help you find a leader who values what you bring and will appreciate you. You don’t have to continue to be a victim of reckless management,” she concludes.

Originally published on Inc.

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