Career Woman

You’ve got this: Dealing with a ‘Game of Thrones’ workplace

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Dr Froswa’ Booker-Drew answers your questions, putting her years of experience and practice into the goal of solving those knotty problems that beset us, and assuring us: ‘you’ve got this’. If you’d like Froswa’ to look at your particular problem, email it to [email protected].

Question: My boss has just been ‘passive fired’. She was always my mentor and champion and has been an inspiration to me. We work in a pretty toxic global media brand … it’s kind of like Game of Thrones but without the great costumes. I’m worried about life here without her at the helm. Anita B.

Anita,

I had a mental image of watching individuals arrive to work in Dragon Queen and Medieval Warrior Costumes sitting in a board room.  Your example is a bit scary and yet, intriguing which is why I should probably binge and watch the show.  I’m so afraid that it will be one more thing to add to my viewing schedule and I don’t need the addiction in my life.

Based on my friend’s weekly explanations of the show, it is extremely unpredictable and violent.  If your work life is anything like what I hear from them and read on social media, having your mentor served as a form of protection and a set of eyes.  She helped you to navigate through the terrain that was difficult at best.  Your job must require enormous discernment, social and political capital for success.  Having a mentor like the one you mentioned is a gift and she obviously taught you well.

I am a firm believer that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.  Maybe for the time you needed her, she was there to teach, guide, and direct.  Do you believe that maybe she’s given you the tools you need to do the work?  Could it be that everything you thought she provided was already in you and she just opened the door for you to move into the next level?

My advice to you is to seek additional allies, sponsors, supporters that can serve in a variety of roles for you.  Is there someone that can provide intel that can inform your decisions?  Are there others that can help you?  No one can fill her shoes but are you building relationships with others in your department and on other teams that can advocate for you?  I think you have to take an inventory of what you are willing to do and are there others available to help you in making that happen.

I actually have a greater concern than the loss of your mentor and that’s being in a toxic environment which is what I’m inferring from your note.  Being in a space where you are constantly worrying about being kissed with a poison that could kill you by someone who appears to have your back (yes, I know about that episode!), is not only unnerving but dangerous.  Is this an environment that is healthy for you?  If you have what you need to stay safe, go for it but if it is going to create havoc, hiding, and harm, maybe the ‘passive firing’ of your boss could be a warning for you to do something different.  Again, you ultimately must develop your list of pros and cons about the role, the job, and the possibilities for your career and make a decision that is in your best interest.

Stay safe, my friend and watch the daggers…I know you have the breastplate and sword to handle anything that comes your way. You. Got. This.

About Dr. Froswa Booker-Drew

Dr. Froswa' Booker-Drew is a Partnership Broker. Relational Leadership Junkie. Connector. Author/Speaker/Trainer. Co-Founder, HERitage Giving Circle. She been quoted and profiled in Forbes, Ozy, Bustle, Huffington Post and other media outlets around the world. In addition, she has been asked to speak on a variety of topics such as social capital and networking, leadership, diversity, and community development to national and international audiences. This included serving as a workshop presenter at the United Nations in 2013 on the Access to Power. One of the most impactful life events for her was being a part of the documentary, Friendly Captivity, a film that followed a cast of 7 women from Dallas to India. Honors for her work include: Semi-finalist for the SMU TEDx in 2012, 2012 Outstanding African American Alumni Award from the University of Texas at Arlington, 2009 Woman of the Year Award by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Diversity Ambassador for the American Red Cross. Graduating with a PhD from Antioch University in Leadership and Change, she also attended the Jean Baker Miller Institute at Wellesley for training in Relational Cultural Theory and completed facilitator training on Immunity to Change. She has also completed training through UNICEF on Equity Based Evaluations, and is the author of 2 workbooks for women, Ready for a Revolution: 30 Days to Jolt Your Life and Rules of Engagement: Making Connections Last as well as a writer for several publications around the globe.

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