My Boss is an S.O.B.

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

Advisor Perspectives welcomes guest contributions. The views presented here do not necessarily represent those of Advisor Perspectives.

Dear Bev,

The leader of our firm is not a nice person. He is successful, charming with clients, an excellent investment professional and has hired good team members. But in every meeting, he finds something harsh to say to one or more of us. He will call us out on something – often in front of clients. He thinks everyone else is his problem, the typical “If only they would….” person.

I have a reasonable relationship with him and have tried to broach his behavior on a couple of occasions, mostly trying to show him that he isn’t going to inspire and motivate team members by berating them. He gets offended and tells me I am making things up or seeing things that aren’t there.

Our turnover in the last five years is abysmal – we have lost over half of our staff. Only the senior advisors stay, because they have some ownership in the firm and they shut their doors and ignore him. I’ve stayed the longest, so I end up training new people and then watch them walk out in less than a year.

I am starting to think I’m the crazy one for staying. I get paid well for the area where our firm is located, and I have four young children. A lot of flexibility is important to me. While my boss is harsh, he is a family-oriented person and does support the need to focus on family. It’s just such a negative environment and there is also the business reality that I feel like I am swimming upstream all the time. Bring someone in, train them, encourage them, partner with them, and then watch them leave.

If my boss can’t hear me, and I can’t replace what’s needed with staff, what do I do to change this situation?