Reader: Six months ago, my husband left a job with a controlling bully of a boss to work for a kind but overwhelmed, unavailable boss.

He is frustrated with the cancelled/not rescheduled touch base meetings he requested. Also his boss does not answer emails/calls requesting budgetary approval to finalize his projects.

Responses can take up to a month or more of repeated attempts at discussions. Others in this billion-dollar corporation experience the same lack of response from this unorganized CFO. 

What are some methods in handling this situation?

The situation that your husband is experiencing at work is not uncommon. Here are some methods to consider and overcome this difficult situation:

  1. In “What is the best method of communicating with your unavailable boss”, I discuss solutions that include, face-to-face meetings, phone meetings and email communications.
  2. Research alternative ways to make contact with his boss. The traditional channels may not be what boss uses – find out who has the boss’s ear and figure why they have it. The people who have his ear may not be obvious.
  3. Learn where his boss networks – is it with professional groups, golf or tennis clubs, philanthropic or volunteer organizations? Connecting with someone on a personal level can help with professional access.

The fact that his boss has reached the C-Suite in the organization says that he is able to make decisions and has a network that supports him; otherwise, he would not be in his current role. If there is some type of blip in the boss’s focus – possibly his boss is going through a personal crisis which would affect his availability.

A last option is to ask his boss who he can work with to help the project move along. This information is valuable because now he knows who does have his boss’s ear. Your husband may feel this is not the best option because he believes he is losing access, but the truth is he already has. The goals Is to regain access and that will come with project completion and results.