How Bosses Can Overcome the Entitlement Trap

Entitled Boss.4Entitlement has become an epidemic. Many people feel entitled to have what they want when they want it. However, for bosses, entitlement can become a trap and lead to career and business derailment and failure.

What do these traps look like?

Traits of entitled bosses:

  • -believe they are more deserving than their employees (e.g., pay increases, bonuses, perks, etc.)
  • -lack compassion for others’ challenges and believe they should just get over it
  • -brag about their team’s results using the word “I”
  • -willing to confront anyone to get what they want, regardless of the impact on others
  • -disregard company policies and rules believing they don’t apply to them
  • -considered bullies, egotistical, ruthless, manipulative, or liars

When you “assume you’re entitled to something, you stop working to get it and begin waiting for it to come to you. That’s a sure-fire way to fail.” (HR Daily Advisor)

To avoid these entitlement traps, it requires awareness and emotional intelligence work.

Remember, success is an inside job.

Entitled bosses (this includes both men and women) can be difficult for people to work with and for. Boss entitlement is why top talent leaves, teams fail to perform, customers go to the competition, and the bottom line isn’t so black.

The problem is, entitlement today is so pervasive that it’s like the air you breathe. You don’t think about it until something triggers it.

You’re not entitled to anything in this life!

This statement can be hard to read and harder to accept after listening to many motivational gurus. However, actually, it can provide clarity. The truth is, entitlement creates misery, not success. Developing healthy emotional intelligence and doing the inner work required, creates the real success you desire.

Get Started

Find an industry mentor and hire an executive coach to help you recognize your entitlement traits and develop better strategies.  One common example is when entitled bosses get angry when employees make mistakes. They exclaim, “They should know better, it makes me look bad.”

Become Aware of Common Entitlement Pitfalls that Sound Like These:

“Bad things shouldn’t happen to me.” There is no voodoo or anything else to prevent unfortunate circumstances. Life happens. Life is unfair to everyone. Develop resiliency and compassion for yourself and others.

“What’s in it for me?” Bad decisions are often based on entitled bosses’ self-interest, favoritism, faulty data, and biases. These will derail your team and your career. Use real objective data and create win-win-win outcomes for better decisions.

“I deserve to be respected.” Entitled bosses are easily disappointed in employees, results, and everything else in life. Remember, the attitude you lead with boomerangs back to you! Respect is earned, regardless of the job title. Adjust your beliefs by helping each and every employee, client and vendor excel. Use your coach to help you gain respect.

“I got this handled.” The minute we think we have something handled we stop paying attention. As a management guru once stated, “Then, we’re screwed!” Allow yourself to be a beginner and get back to the basics. Build on success. Mastery requires the discipline of practicing the right things over and over.

“I don’t make mistakes.” Really? If you hear yourself say this, call your coach immediately. Everyone makes mistakes. They either learn from them or repeat them. Learn how to genuinely apologize and correct the mistakes made by you and your team.

“I deserve nothing but happiness.” While the right team members and projects will make you happy for a short period of time, the honeymoon will end. Every project runs into snags or huge mountains. Set aside your ego, believe in your team, and become a resource to bring the project in on time and within budget.

“I should always win.” Remember, you are not entitled to have everything you believe you want in the way you think it should happen. (Read that again!)  When you rely on your ego to justify why you didn’t win, you miss out on a critical learning opportunity. Winners ask and answer, what worked and what didn’t work to deep dive into “why.” Then, move on.

If you stay out of the entitlement trap by developing awareness and emotional intelligence, you will become a successful boss. And always remember …  Success is an inside job.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2019

Jeannette Seibly is an experienced award-winning executive coach with over 26 years of experience. Her clients create fun, earn 6-figure incomes, and successfully work through confusing situations. Develop your executive persona and stay out of the entitlement trap. Contact Jeannette for straight talk with dynamic results.

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