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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jude Black

Oh Snap! I Fired My Startup Boss!

Yes, it’s true, I fired my boss. At first, the shock hit me like a freight train. I couldn’t help but think, “Self, what did you just do? You did WHAAA?” But after I stepped back, took a lot of deep breaths, drank an amazing bottle of wine, I channeled my inner calm and knew it was the right decision. I fully acknowledge that I am good at what I do and love what I do, just not under the current leadership. I unabashedly, unashamedly, and unapologetically fired my boss and I would do it again.

To give you a bit of insight, you need the backstory. I was offered what appeared to be the perfect job (does that unicorn truly exist?) at what appeared to be a very successful startup company that was well respected in the industry and I hoped this was the start of the career I’d always wanted and worked for. What I learned is that the success of a company is deeply rooted in the leadership and rarely is anything as it appears (have you ever seen a unicorn?). The facade of what appeared to be the perfect job, quickly detonated when the leadership, and by default the company, was viewed through a different lens, the lens of reality.

Not one much for quitting, I decided to re-author my story, regain control, and fire my boss. I have no regrets, it was necessary to provide space and create a better opportunity.

As fate would have it, the boss eventually closed the company due to alleged lack of funding but I will argue that strong leadership skills are the heartbeat of every successful company. Without effective leadership to guide the trajectory of a company, inevitably the company will not succeed. Leaders foster growth, without growth, one becomes stuck. Stuck is not good. Just ask the girl whose head was stuck in a Barney Head… or the puppy wedged in a fence. No, Stuck is not a place you want to be.

People quit their jobs every day right? In fact, 2.985 million Americans quit their jobs in May 2016. This rate is steadily increasing, despite the economic hardships were are seeing. So, what’s up? Why are people taking a stance and walking away?

It seems that there is a shift in American worker’s priorities and values. Americans seem more willing to stay true to who they are and align with their worldview than compromise their values for a job. Transient jobs are trending in the work force and the idea of a “permanent job” is slowing fading into yesteryear. According to Career Builder, 69% of employees regular seek new opportunities as part of their regular routine.

So, there is truth in the old saying,

“People quit their boss, not their job.”

I know- I am one of them.

One million US employees cannot be wrong. A Gallup poll of more 1 million employed U.S. workers concluded that the No. 1 reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss. They leave due to the negative culture created by their boss and how they feel their boss treats them. Think about it. How many of us have quit our jobs only to secure another job in the same field? For those of us thriving in Home Businesses, we may avoid the typical office considerations, but strong leadership skills are essential regardless of where we setup our laptops.

Grab your coffee, sit back, and lean into exploring this three part series of leadership as experienced by a contractor turned CEO. Learn to strengthen your own leadership skills, empower others, and succeed. Learn the signs that you may want to fire your own boss and learn how not to be fired by those you employ.

So, without further ado…..

Are you wondering if it’s time to author your life? Is it time to fire your boss? I can’t answer that for sure, but I do know that life is too short to give people unnecessary power over you. If the following Acronym resonates with you, do some soul searching, get a plan, and figure it out. Maybe it’s time to lean into your own passions, follow your dreams, and become your own CEO.


F- Fun: The job is a total fun-sucker. I loved what I did, but dreaded the company culture created by the leadership. When the overall moral within the company decreases, employee frustration is the new norm, excitement is gone and all roads are leading to the same variable~ the boss, you may want to consider a breakup.

I: Integrity: Leaders with integrity act with authenticity and honesty; they speak truth, are genuine and sincere, are not pretentious, and take responsibility for their own feelings and actions. Integrity is the most important character strength for leaders and an important predictor of performance according to the Center of Creative Leadership. So, consider yourself on life support when your boss stops walking the talk. Consider the plug pulled when everyone, except for the boss, is to blame for the injustice, the incompetence, the poor decisions, and the overall status of the company.

R- Respect: You lost respect for the boss. This seems pretty self-explanatory, right? Respect is lost when your boss covers mistakes, fails to inspire, does not empower, covers up mistakes, rejects feedback, makes excuses, is a “victim”, and is not self-reflective.

E- Exhausted: You are depleted mentally, emotionally, and physically. When you have exhausted every option possible to “be the change” and are now convinced that there is absolutely nothing else you can do, it just may be time.

D- Done. You done checked out. You have fully accepted that your boss is bad for your creativity, productivity, wellbeing, career, and potentially your wallet. For me, I was done generating revenue, not being paid, and witnessing my boss splurge on events and exotic trips through social media on top of everything else. You are done if you have a game plan or welcome a chance to explore the unknown because it sure is better this. Done is done. Done like a dinner. Done and over with. Done over, done deal, done with, done and done.

Look for the rest of the upcoming Leadership series.

Part II- 101 for CEOs and Founders- How Not to Get Fired by Your Best Employees

Part III: From Disappointed Employee to CEO: Learned Wisdom for Successful Leaders.


About the Author: Dr. Jude Black is the CEO & Founder of E-Therapy Cafe. She is our Story Lover, Emotional Healer, Chaos Calmer, Change Catalyst, Resiliency Ninja, & Life Expert. To schedule a session with Dr. Black, click here.

E-Therapy Café™ is a people-focused, innovative online counseling and coaching platform for individuals, couples, families and corporations. The mission is to provide professional, convenient, and affordable, modern online therapy – anytime, anywhere for everyone. The Boutique Team of Licensed Therapists and Certified Life Coaches are passionate change catalyst, focused on realistic goals in today’s fast-paced world. The headquarters is in Northern VA with a nationwide and global reach.

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