Leadership is something that even the greatest bosses hold with a tenuous grasp. For leadership to be successful, employees have to believe in it, and invest in it, under the assumption that the boss will steer them in the right direction. As soon as employees start questioning the motives or decisions of the boss, the system breaks down significantly, and leaders may find themselves in a position in which their own employees are attempting to bypass them and address their manager’s boss directly. This could be in an action as simple as needlessly CC-ing them in on an email, or as deliberately damaging as arranging a meeting with them without your knowledge.
It’s an embarrassing, uncomfortable situation that requires delicate action. Whilst it may be your first reaction to punish them for effectively publicly denouncing your command, this would only serve to satisfy your anger, and prove to them that you aren’t worthy of their investment. Instead, it’s important that you follow these steps, to ensure that not only do you put things right but that you understand their motives.
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